Leadership Lessons: Why do Ethnic/Special Observances Matter?

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Althea Hunter
  • 319th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity Advisor
Who cares about ethnic or other special observances? The Air Force cares and you should too.

As individuals we are products of our geographic location, culture, life experiences, philosophical/spiritual perspectives, as well as socioeconomic, educational, and work backgrounds.

We all have something special to contribute to the mission. With diversity being a hot topic in the Air Force, every Airman should feel that their differences are accepted and respected.

What can you do to help?

Embrace the differences around you and get educated. You do not have to agree with it or be a part of it, but gaining extra knowledge has never hurt anyone.

Participate in the different special observance events around the base. Get rid of the idea that you need to be a certain race, religion, color, national origin or sex, you just need to be a human being!

Me personally, I enjoy learning and experiencing other cultures. I have participated in many special observances, even outside of my role as an equal opportunity advisor. Since we can't always afford to travel around the world to experience different cultures, I believe a special observance is the next best thing!

At Grand Forks AFB, our multicultural days have showcased the world through food, music, fashion, art, and entertainment. These days would not have been possible without our volunteers. Just think, these events can be educational, fun-filled and as extravagant as you want them to be!

There is nothing wrong with coming together to recognize the achievements and contributions made by members of specific racial, religious, ethnic, and gender groups in our society; as well as, promoting mutual respect, understanding, teamwork, harmony, pride and esprit de corps among all groups.

Participation in special/ethnic observance programs combats stereotypical behaviors and benefits our diverse workplace. Additionally, these activities are an extension of human relations education objectives for maintaining a healthy human relations climate. Active command support and leadership along with thorough planning are key fundamentals for success of the program.

If you want to volunteer or have questions or concerns, please contact the EO office at 747-3200.