AAHC brings awareness for Black History Month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Briana Beavers
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Moody’s African American Heritage Committee was formed in March of 2021 to promote African-American heritage and culture while facilitating meaningful relationships and networking opportunities through quality leadership.

During Black History Month, the members of AAHC worked to accomplish just that.

AAHC held basewide events in the month of February to celebrate African-American history, but their efforts to provide awareness and offer inclusiveness to members of the base continue year round.

“We had fundraising events starting back in the spring of last year to jumpstart our program,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Jones, AAHC vice president. “(These events) allowed us to host our first Juneteenth event and funded what we’re doing this month for Black History.”

In June of 2021, Juneteenth was officially acknowledged as a federal holiday. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865.

“Once the Air Force began to acknowledge Juneteenth as a federal holiday we noticed that there was a void,” Jones said. “There wasn’t much representation and we wanted to step up as a committee to ensure Moody AFB was properly educated and represented for that holiday.”

Their efforts to educate and provide inclusiveness don't stop there.

“Our goal is to bring awareness,” said Master Sgt. Tony Johnson, AAHC president. “We want to impact change, and as an AAHC, we have a very unique opportunity to bring a diverse group of individuals together and positively insert ourselves in different avenues."

For example, the Sneaker Gala took place Feb. 24, and the committee reached outside of the gates for other resources to make the event a success.

"We want to be an organization that can be utilized in regards to bridging those gaps between Moody (AFB) and the community,” he said.

The AAHC also hopes to connect with individuals throughout the community and help remove cultural barriers.

“It’s proven that we are people who learn from past experiences,” Johnson said. “That’s why we have all these events that highlight amazing leaders from the past and unfortunate struggles. We would be missing the mark if we didn’t put effort into learning from the past and embracing what’s going on today.”

Both Jones and Johnson believe these events wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of their team.

“Our committee is made up of rockstars,” Jones said. “We have people that are quarterly award winners and annual award winners. They not only excel in bringing awareness within the committee, but they’re doing great things at work … It does a great justice for the committee and the base.”

Although Black History Month is coming to an end, AAHC is making it their mission to provide awareness and highlight the heritage and culture of African American history all year long.