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Diversity Day shares cultural uniqueness

Come celebrate Peterson Air Force Base’s first Diversity Day, May 20 at The Club. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman 1st Class Jessica Hines)

Come celebrate Peterson Air Force Base’s first Diversity Day, May 20 at The Club. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman 1st Class Jessica Hines)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

All members of Peterson Air Force Base are invited to take a trip around the world with a "Passport to Diversity" at the 21st Space Wing's Diversity Fair.

The Diversity Fair, scheduled from 10: 30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20 at The Club, features 30 cultural booths, including the Sons of Norway, the Low-rider Hispanic Bike Club, a Holocaust Traveling Display and the Colorado School for Deaf and Blind. Event organizers say the fair is a celebration of the rich diversity in the Air Force and 21st SW workforce.

"When we are able to see the differences in people and what uniqueness people bring, and come together, wonderful things happen," said Wynona James, 21st SW Special Emphasis Program manager.

Ms. James has been thinking of hosting such a diversity fair for several years. This year, she said, dozens of volunteers from the base and the community came together to make it happen.

"I'm elated," she said.

Deemed "edutainment," the fair will offer educational booths, entertainment and food sampling. There will be performances by groups such as Danza Folklorica, Magic of Pacific Island and Czech/Slovak Dancers. Participants at the fair will receive a "passport" to take with them and get stamped as they visit each booth. It's entertainment, Ms. James said.

"But, it's also an educational platform to bring a level awareness of the rich diversity we have on the installation," she said. "We, especially in the Air Force, have a unique culture of active duty military and civilian workforce that comes from all over the world."

Those who complete the edutainment tour will receive a gift. There will also be prize drawings throughout the event. The fair is free and open to all members of the base community.

Other Air Force installations, including Schriever Air Force Base, have hosted Diversity Days to celebrate a variety of cultures and experiences. The event does not take the place of other special emphasis programs such as Dr. Martin Luther King Day or Hispanic Heritage Month, Ms. James said.

Rex Jones, 21st SW Equal Opportunity Office director, said the fair is meant to enhance awareness and understanding between all people groups and include more people in the celebration than just the particular group being recognized for a day or month.

"The Special Observance Committee encourages each and every civilian and servicemember at Peterson AFB to strive for a better understanding of their American Heritage by participating in the upcoming diversity fair," he said.

It should be one of the most memorable events of the year, he said.

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