COLUMBUS, Ohio –
A day of cultural performances, singing, food and competition marked the annual Defense Supply Center Columbus Diversity and Inclusion Event.
The Aug. 2 activities started with the DSCC Federal Choir performing the National Anthem at the central flag pole between the operations centers for Defense Finance and Accounting Services Columbus and Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime.
Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard joined installation executives at the opening ceremony to cut a ribbon and officially kick off the day’s events.
“DSCC and Whitehall have had a long partnership of collaboration,” said Maggard. “The mutual aid and support agreements between the city and the installation assure that diversity and inclusion are alive and well in our high performing and resilient organizations.”
Tents filled the parking lot and offered an assortment of cultural exhibits, informational displays and items for purchase. Food trucks representing a variety of food options lined the perimeter and tempted patrons with everything from barbecue to bratwursts.
The Morale, Welfare and Recreation office distributed lunch totes to the first 700 guests and offered the chance to win a video game system for associates who shared their photos of the event on social media. MWR also hosted a 9-hole Golf Scramble and Car Show.
A team representing the Equal Employment Opportunities offices of DFAS Columbus and DLA Land and Maritime organized cultural awareness activities throughout the day.
To complete the Cultural Passport Challenge, associates had to visit a total of nine booths set up by EEO Special Emphasis Program committee members highlighting their various programs. At each station, associates learned about the cultural significance of groups including People with Disabilities, Native Americans, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans, Veterans, European Americans, Women in Government and the LGBT community.
After their journey, associates sampled an assortment of foods from around the world that represented some of the cultures they’d just learned about. The Passport Challenge also allowed associates from DLA and DFAS to visit one another’s Operations Centers and familiarize themselves better with their installation partners.
DFAS Columbus Director, Pam Franceschi said the cultural differences and diverse backgrounds of the installation are some of the key factors that make the federal workforce at DSCC so strong.
“Take the time today to recognize the people who sit next to you, or the ones you pass in the hall or see each day and celebrate them,” she said. “Today is a great day for appreciating the diversity that makes us unique and for recognizing the shared values that bring us together.”
Uniqueness was in no short supply at the Diversity and Inclusion Talent Showcase that capped off the day’s events. Associates filled the Building 20 auditorium to watch performances including juggling, singing, stand-up comedy and dance routines.
“I heard a phrase recently that sums up today’s activities perfectly,” said Franceschi. “Diversity is getting invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance.”
On a summer day at DSCC, with shared laughter and music in the air, the federal community came together and accepted the invitation. And they danced.