Published: 9/13/2012 11:40:54 AM
All Inclusive Heritage Day brings cultures together
The United States Army is one of the most diverse organizations in the world. In honor of this multi-cultural observance, Team Bragg Equal Opportunity, which consists of Soldiers from various commands across the installation and Fort Bragg community, celebrated its diversity and held its third annual All Inclusive Heritage Day at the Smoke Bomb Hill Mini-Mall parking lot, Sept. 8th.
About 35 different countries from around the world were represented in this celebration, to include representatives from the Caribbean, South America, Asia, Africa and from islands such as Guam and Samoa.
“The Equal Opportunity program is designed to ensure all people, regardless of race, religion, gender and national origin, be treated with dignity and respect,” said Master Sgt. Roderick Davison, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the XVIII Airborne Corps EO. “The purpose of this program is to embrace all cultures and recognize their contributions to society and America.”
“This (Army) organization is made of individuals,” said Maj. Shavoka Douglas, XVIII Abn. Corps program manager. “This is to recognize the individuals here … we will not move forward until we recognize their individuality.”
The celebration included vendors representing each respective country, live performances, authentic cultural cuisines, jump castles and activities for the children, as well as authentic displays.
“We put everything together to make it a great event,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Blackburn, United States Army Special Operations Command EO Advisor. “This gives every culture a chance to express what they are about, to bring everybody together and have a great celebration.”
Blackburn added that he was at this same event two years ago and that it’s a great opportunity to learn about other cultures, sample the food and enjoy live performances.
‘This one seems like it’s the best one yet,” said Blackburn.
Not only were the attendees able to have fun during this celebration, but they also learned more about cultures that some might have never known about.
“With all the different cultures, whether from an island or country, I see the thread that ties us all together,” said Cedric Hepburn who is an employee at Fort Bragg’s Network Enterprise Center.
Hepburn displayed various historical artifacts from African American History, and said that to understand the true meaning of American history we as Americans need to understand where we came from. Using his cherished items as displays, Hepburn also noted that the 150th anniversary of the emancipation of slaves was fast approaching.
“You have to go to some of the cultural events and visit the museums in the United States to learn some of the history the country,” said Hepburn.
As quoted from President Barack Obama, “Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best we when draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”
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