Base celebrates unity, cultural differences

  • Published
  • By Brian Shreve
  • Robins Public Affairs
The Heritage Club Ballroom was alive with a harmonious buzz.
Tuesday with the United through Diversity Luncheon, a highlight of what has been a month-long celebration of cultural differences.

The event included artwork, memorabilia and other displays from various ethnic and social groups, representing each of five base subcommittees - Women's History and Equality, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage, Black Heritage and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride.

Col. Christopher Hill, Installation commander, delivered opening remarks before finger foods were served to what was a substantial crowd on hand for the ceremony.

"This is a great day and the culmination of a great month," said Hill. "Diversity is one of our great strengths in the Air Force. All of us coming together is an example of how strong we are."

Hildred Jones, Defense Logistics Agency customer support specialist, spoke of the origins of Diversity Month, which stems from a presidential order that promotes inclusion and fairness in federal workplaces.

"We work better together with our differences, not despite them," said Jones, who served as event coordinator.

Members from each subcommittee delivered presentations honoring their culture, beginning with Trish Williams' rendition of traditional Cherokee songs on behalf of National American Indian Heritage.

"I'm honored to be invited to show people this culture that has overcome a lot," she said. "I'm proud of it and want to teach it and keep it alive."

The luncheon continued with an AA&PIH observance, featuring lessons in Japanese origami by Airman Luke Hoang, 78th Communications Directorate secure network infrastructure technician, as the audience made their own attempts at the art form.

A poetry monologue was then performed by Senior Airman Princeter Fazon, 78th Comptroller Squadron quality assurance manager and LGBT Pride Month committee member.

Speaking for Hispanic Heritage was Lorenzo Davila, Life Cycle Management Center C-130 Technical Coordination Group country manager, who performed the Mexican tradition of cascarones - a tradition involving busting confetti-filled eggs over each other's heads for luck - with Tech Sgt. Lizeth Martinez, Diversity Committee chair.

On behalf of Women's History and Equality, Tech Sgt. Tiffany Jackson, 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron customer service, and Tech Sgt. Adria Edwards, 78th bioenvironmental engineering flight, read poetry by notable women, including Maya Angelou. Robert Hayes, an Atlanta performance artist, wrapped up the observances with a show of African pantomiming in honor of Black Heritage.

The luncheon marked one of several events as part of Robins' inaugural Diversity Month.