MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Team Moody hosted its third annual 23d Wing Diversity Day Aug. 29, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
Diversity Day honored the cultures of all groups and organizations observed by the Department of Defense, from LGBTQ equality to Native American heritage, and brought Airmen from across the base together to celebrate their unique differences. This year’s theme was ‘It’s not just black and white, open your palette, create a culture of possibilities.’
“I think that Diversity Day's important because it brings awareness to the fact that we are a very diverse nation and Air Force, and I feel like that's one of our strengths,” said Senior Airman Andrea Rojas Jimenez, 23d Mission Support Group command staff administrator, and lead for the Hispanic Heritage Committee for Diversity Day.
“Where I work is very diverse, and sure enough, I'll look at a problem and my solution will be completely different from another’s,” Rojas continued. “Therefore, we think differently and have different perspectives because we come from different backgrounds and we can offer those views for solutions. The more we can embrace it, the stronger we can be.”
The event offered a variety of experiences, from free cultural cuisine and prizes, a fashion show, Japanese drummers, Hispanic heritage dances, and educational observance displays.
“The informational pieces are very important because they’re a spotlight for those people that have done amazing things,” Rojas said. “Regardless of where I’m from, it's always important to take time to celebrate and respect those individuals that have gone above and beyond.”
Rojas explained how having all the observances blended together into one day, it offers a more robust and fun way to better understand Airmen from other cultures.
“To me, Diversity Day should be a celebration of the fact that we are diverse and yet we're able to come together for a common goal,” Rojas said. “It also brings to light that we're all in the Air Force, yet we are from so many other countries and cultures…we're here because we believe this is our home and that this is the place we want to defend.”
For Senior Master Sgt. Melissa Wells, 23d Comptroller Squadron superintendent, she understands how diversity in the Air Force brings us together for a stronger force.
“Diversity improves the perspectives that the Air Force receives by embracing our differences,” Wells said. “The contribution of each individual is vitally important to the mission and it is important for each individual to know that his or her contribution plays a role in our success.”
Wells’ hope is that Airmen are able to take what they’ve experienced from Diversity Day and be able to utilize it going forward into the future.
“Once Airmen leave this event, they can share what they learned with friends and family around the world, creating a much larger impact,” Wells said. “It creates a culture of acceptance, and it builds on love. Once you start to accept another, it not only improves your self-love, but also love and tolerance for others as well.”