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EO honors Black History Month

Posted 2/9/2011   Updated 2/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Armando A. Schwier-Morales
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

2/9/2011 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.  -- The 22nd Equal Opportunity African American Heritage Committee will recognize the sacrifices and contributions that African Americans have made to American during February.

Since 1968, the Department of Defense has supported ethnic observances. In February 1976, the first Black History Month celebration was held after a proclamation from the president.

"It is important to host observances like this to raise awareness about contributions made throughout American History as a whole," said Tech. Sgt. Jondraia McFadden, 22nd Operations Support Squadron Host Aviation Resource Management NCOIC and African American Heritage Committee chairperson. "These observances are designed to show mutual respect and promote harmony for all cultures."

At McConnell there will be celebrations through a series of activities.

"These activities are extensions of the equal opportunity education and training objectives," said Mrs. Michlene Tucker, 22nd ARW EO director. "They are set aside annually to recognize the achievements and contributions made by members of specific groups in our society."

The theme for 2011 Black History Month is "African Americans and the Civil War." To start the month off, all Team McConnell members are able to participate in an essay contest about contributions that African Americans have made to society.

"[The events] are important, especially to our military community, dependants and civil service members because of our diverse backgrounds," said Sergeant McFadden.

The winner of the essay contest will be announced at the African American Heritage Festival. However, before the festival a three on three basketball tournament will be held Feb. 18 at the fitness center auxiliary gym.

The heritage festival will be held Feb. 23, allowing Airmen to experience African American-style cuisine and live entertainment. The committee will host its final event on Feb. 25, with a showing of the movie "Glory" at the Robert J. Dole Community Center Ballroom.

"I encourage participation amongst Airmen to learn more about different cultures in order to decrease the stereotypes associated with any groups based on background, spiritual beliefs or whatever holds anyone back from getting to know more about each other," said Sergeant McFadden. "I believe we should all take advantage of every opportunity to educate ourselves."

For more information about the events or Black History Month, call Sergeant McFadden at (316) 759-1134.

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