RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Equal Opportunity offices from the U.S. Army 7th Mission Support Command, the 86th Airlift Wing, Defense Logistics Agency, and the Diversity Council from the University of Maryland University College collaborated together to host the 86th AW’s Diversity Day, Sept. 28.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th AW commander, opened the event stating diversity is a strength for our community.
“By our very nature, we are unique, we are diverse,” August said. “We bring a perspective to this organization, to our base, to our community that no one else has. Our backgrounds, our experience and our training is what makes us who we are--diverse by nature.”
“As I look out in this crowd of our amazing Airmen in the 86th AW and across the KMC, I see something a little bit different as well,” August continued: “Courage does not have a gender, leadership is not bound by race, honor and our dedication to country is certainly not bounded at all by our ethnicity.”
The event, themed “Share our Similarities, Celebrate our Differences,” showcased a Frederick Douglass monologue, two spoken-word poets, a native hula dance, and a traditional praise dance performed by community members throughout the four-hour event.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carl Zahn, 86th Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician, and a Diversity Day volunteer said everybody has something that they can provide that’s unique to the mission, unit, or an interesting experience from their lives.
“It’s good to leverage those things at the end of the day," Zahn said. "It’s really important, we can’t just view the world through our own microscope. We need to be able to broaden our views to see how other people view the world and see their experiences.”
In order to give attendees a world view, Diversity Day offered an array of cultural cuisines for attendees to eat and educational observance stands of trivia games and freebies.
The event recognized 10 special observances to include: African American/Black History; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month; National American Indian Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday and Women’s Equality Day.
Some of the ways the Air Force identifies diversity are personal life experiences, race, culture, spiritual perspectives, socioeconomic status, cognitive, behavioral and occupational skills.
The event’s goal was to enhance cross-cultural and cross-gender awareness while promoting harmony among military members, their families, and the DOD civilian workforce.