Team Robins celebrates diversity
By Angela Woolen, 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 23, 2016
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The rock group Queen’s “We Will Rock You” doesn’t sound like a traditional song for a Vietnamese Bamboo Dance but that’s exactly the right beat for the choreography.
The Asian American Pacific Islander team was just one of many performers and speakers at the third annual Diversity Luncheon held at the Heritage Club on Tuesday.
Audience members clapped along during the dance, which was introduced by Vivian Siu, whose parents were refugees from Vietnam.
“It represents diversity,” she said of the bamboo dance.
To honor her father, who was full-blooded Cherokee, Patricia Williams sang two verses of the song “Amazing Grace” in her father’s Cherokee language.
Williams is part of the Native American Indian Heritage committee.
Representatives from Native American, Hispanic, LGBT, African American, Women’s History and Asian American Pacific Islander all gathered in a show of support for the month which honors diversity.
“You’re all here because you believe in diversity,” said Jo Ann Mason-Gordon, part of the African American History committee at Robins. She encouraged everyone to be a “standup person” in order to break the cycle of prejudices.
The guest speaker was Rep. Shaw Blackmon, who grew up in Warner Robins.
Col. Jeff King, 78th Air Base Wing commander, spoke at the end of the luncheon and left attendees with three reasons why it was important for military bases to continue to have diversity luncheons.
“Unity, identity and innovation” are key to a diverse population, he said. With the issues going on in society, it could divide us. The purpose of bringing together many groups of people from all different walks of life was to unite us to work together as citizens to come up with new ways of celebrating our differences, King said.