By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever members embraced their differences including race, religion, gender, age, nationality and disability, during a Diversity Day event Friday at the base fitness center.
The event became a melting pot of various cultures that featured ethnic food, dance and music. Representatives from various backgrounds set up informational displays where they shared their uniqueness.
“We are here to celebrate diversity in the workforce,” said Col. Bill Liquori, 50th Space Wing commander. “It is what makes us stronger as a wing, it makes us stronger as a military, and it makes us stronger as a nation. Thank you very much to the committee members and volunteers for setting up a topnotch event.”
The 50th Space Wing Equal Opportunity office hosted the event, which was designed to educate Schriever members about diversity and its importance to the wing mission and the Air Force.
“We are celebrating Diversity Day because diversity is very important to the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer O’Quinn, 50 SW EO deputy director. “If you look to your left and to the right, we are all different. However, at the end of the day, we have to rely on each other because we work in the same Air Force, we have a common mission and common goal.”
Through the event, the EO office encouraged Schriever members to ask about other people’s culture and backgrounds, O’Quinn said.
“When you learn something about someone, you are better for it,” she said.
Additionally, for the first time in the Schriever Diversity Day’s history, representatives from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community attended the event.
“It’s awesome; it’s an honor,” said Capt. Jordan Simonson, 21st Medical Squadron and an LGB representative. “It’s the first time that we have had an LGB presence at a major base event. We are honored to be included. I think it’s an important aspect of our diversity.”
Simonson said the event was a nice mixture of food, performances and information.
“People not only learned a lot, they also felt engaged,” he said.
Staff Sgt. Kathryn Benoit, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, echoed the sentiment.
“I think it’s great for people to gain knowledge about other cultures and this is a great way to showcase all of them,” Benoit said. “We work with a lot of people from different cultures every day especially in the military. It is all about mutual respect and treating people with dignity. This is a great way to learn so we can even be more understanding.”
O’Quinn said the event was a success and it wouldn’t have been possible without the committee members and volunteers.
“They were outstanding,” she said. “We have some of the best volunteers. They dedicated and committed themselves to ensuring we have a very successful Schriever Diversity Day.”