Columbus AFB Airmen, families celebrate Diversity Day
By Airman 1st Class Jake Jacobsen, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 14, 2019
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Members of Team BLAZE gathered for the second annual Diversity Day at the Club on June 7, hosted by the 14th Flying Training Wing Equal Opportunity office.
Volunteers from base and members of the local community were involved in showcasing several diverse groups and shared their cultures with attendees.
“One of my duties as a part of the equal opportunity team is to bring everyone closer as a team,” said Staff Sgt. Malcolm Bentley, NCO in charge of the 14th FTW/EO. “This event is a great way to allow the base to come together and learn from one another, be exposed to the many diverse cultures we have, and try the different types of food those places would offer.”
Many of the stations were a designated Department of Defense special observance designed to educate attendees about that culture. Among the booths included were black history, women’s history, pride month and others. Each station gave a little history and details on how the observances came to be, tied together with some food and handouts.
The event also included a live DJ, salsa tastings, video presentations, cultural garbs, cultural dance and ritual demonstrations, and games.
“It is a good way to understand the culture of not only the Air Force but where members are coming from and what background they have,” said Senior Airman Sean Perry, 14th Logistics Readiness Squadron logistics technician.
Perry volunteered and helped organize the disability employment observance. Perry chose post-traumatic stress disorder as a main topic for his booth. He helped spread awareness for active duty and retirees struggling with the disorder and finding work.
As the festivities continued, Airmen and families gathered around to watch Choctaw dancers perform. The performers were dressed in their traditional Native American attire and as part of their routine, they invited the crowd to join and partake in a few dances.
Some of the other presentations included black heritage, Hispanic heritage dance competition and a Mystic Wing Drummers performance.