By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever members were treated to entertainment and good food during Diversity Day as part of the base picnic July 15.
The 50th Space Wing Equal Opportunity office put on the event with the intention of educating members of diversity and the importance of it to the mission and the U. S. Air Force. The Department of Defense mandates that certain observances be recognized throughout the year and the Schriever EO team combined them into one performance and food-packed event.
“I really enjoyed the entire event,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Ellis, Air Force Space Command. “This event really gave the entire wing, as well as visitors like me, the ability to see and enjoy the music, performers and food.”
The EO team has been putting on this event for more than three years and plans to do it for many more.
“We have been putting on a single Diversity Day for a couple of years and it’s really catching on,” said Edward Vaughn, 50th Space Wing EO specialist. “Our program has been modeled by other programs at other bases.”
Diversity Day boasted food from three different cultures as well as performances from eight different ethnic and cultural groups.
“There is just so much local talent in the area that getting performers to come out here was not difficult,” said Vaughn.
Groups like the Celtic Step Irish Dancers and the Oluwaseyi Dancers, a West African dance group, performed traditional dances, while the Seven Falls Indian Dancers and the U.S. Paralympic Committee had much audience participation.
An Airman with the 50th Security Forces Squadron particularly enjoyed the Native American performing group.
“I really enjoyed the performance because it reminded me of home,” said Airman 1st Class Michael Hopper. “[Diversity Day] is a great event because I was able to see not only performances from my own culture and ethnicity, but those of other cultures as well. It really brings home how diverse the Air Force really is.”
The whole intent of the event according to Vaughn is to get people out of their cultural comfort zones.
“This year we observed our participation numbers rise exponentially,” said Vaughn. “The Schriever community came out in force to observe, taste, participate and learn about the various cultures that represent the fabric of our Air Force.”
The event was highly successful, according to Vaughn, and will only get better with each year.
“We are bound by DoD to recognize certain cultures and observances during this event,” said Vaughn. “Schriever is unique in that our commander has opened the doors past those observances. This is an evolving program. Any culture or ethnicity that Team Schriever members want celebrated here could be and can be considered for next year’s event.”