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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Base officials plan 2011 Unity/Multicultural Day

By Marti Gatlin | | April 14, 2011

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials will host the 2011 Unity/Multicultural Day April 21 from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Boyett Park at Covella Pond. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held at Thomason Gym.

Themed, “Our World United Through Diver-sity,” the seventh annual event will feature free ethnic and donated food samplings, various ethnic and cultural venues and diversity displays. The Albany Marine Band will kick off the celebration with pre-ceremony music at 11 a.m., said Angelo Knox, Equal Employment Opportunity specialist/event coordinator.

The idea behind Unity/Multicultural Day is to promote awareness of six annual federal Special Emphasis Programs -black employment, women, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, disability awareness and Native American - simultaneously while promoting unity among all cultures, according to information provided by the 2011 Unity/Multicultural Day committee.

“Unity Day is a celebration of all cultures,” Knox said. “It’s a celebration of our diversity; however, it’s also a celebration (that even though) we are from diverse backgrounds we can still come together as one.”

This is a joint effort between the military and civil service, he added.

“Instead of doing it month by month since each one is in a different month, we decided that the third Thurs-day of the month of April we are going to celebrate all cultures,” Knox said. “It’s better that we recognize them all at once, that way more emphasis is not placed on one (group). We want to ensure that every group is given the same amount of attention. Not one particular group is more important than another. We’re inviting all cultures. While these (six) are important, we want to make sure everyone is included. This is just a unification of all cultures.”

Knox noted the Unity/Multicultural Day Committee plans on having Col. Terry W. Reid, commander, Maintenance Center Albany, as this year’s distinguished speaker. Reid is scheduled to speak from 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.

The Child Development Center follows Reid’s remarks with a performance portraying 12 famous Americans of various cultures from 11:45 to 11:55 a.m. Other activities include the local International Studies Elementary Charter School performing a diversity program, Box of Crayons, from 11:55 a.m. to noon; ethnic food samplings from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Asian-Pacific American Heritage program from noon to 12:15 p.m.; Native American Heritage program from 12:20 to 12:35 p.m.; disability awareness program from 12:40 to 12:55 p.m.; Hispanic Heritage program from 1 to 1:15 p.m.; Black Heritage program from 1:20 to 1:35 p.m.; Women’s history from 1:40 to 1:55 p.m. and an event wrap-up from 1:50 to 2 p.m.

“We invite everyone to come out, everybody to get involved, enjoy the show and come back next year,” he said.

Marine Corps Logistics Command Employee Recognition Day committee members will be selling several food items to raise funds for its Employee Recognition Day, Knox said.

According to Deborah Faulkner, manager, EEO, Marine Corps Community Services, will cater all the free ethnic food samplings such as smothered chicken and onion gravy, Kwanzaa brownies, vegetable stir-fry with beef strips, white rice, Kailua pork, Native Wojape pie, Native South-western corn and squash sauté, Maiz Nuevo Mexicano (New Mexico baked corn) and shredded beef burrito with beans.

“We will have many donated foods prepared by employees such as collards, cornbread, caramel cakes, black eyed peas, sweet potato pies and bread pudding,” she said. “We’ve got chips and dip, peach puffs and baked spaghetti to include special Haitian dishes.”

LaWanda Jackson, assistant, EEO, planned the 2011 Unity/Multicultural Day menu.

“For the ethnic samplings, we tried to bring something different this year as far as something we thought everyone would like to try for the different ethnicities,” she said. “We didn’t try to just stick to the basics of everyday meals.”

Faulkner encouraged the base community to stay, workload permitting, after the ethnic samplings.

“We want to encourage people to stay and enjoy not only the venues, but the performances,” she said.