RICHMOND, Va. –
Name, Title (Required): Joyce M. Brown, acquisition support division chief
Where do you physically work and what organization do you report to? DLA Aviation, Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, Procurement Operations at Huntsville, Alabama
How long have you worked for DLA? I have been a DLA employee for the past 11 years
What does African American /Black History Month mean to you? I am what you consider, old school now. I remember the Civil Rights Movement and the conversations that were had in not only my household but also the households of many of my relatives pertaining to how to gain equal rights. I remember the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Kennedy. I grew up in California, which is a place where many blacks migrated to looking for a better life than the one offered to their counterparts in the south. I later moved to Georgia, where I had the opportunity to be exposed to African American literature, see the Civil Rights Movement face to face and learn more about my culture and heritage. That exposure is what helped shape my character to do and be my best in all things. To be proud and not ashamed of being an African American. For this reason, I feel that the month of February is an opportunity for all nationalities to experience and learn what I did while growing up. It is my belief that we are all smart, intelligent and great if we apply ourselves. Hate is not natural it is taught. Love conquers all and we are all equal. I appreciate every month that we single out a nationality to learn more about that culture. However it is unfortunate that during my era of growing up, encyclopedias (Wikipedia now) only focused on our Anglo-Saxon brothers and sisters. So, in essence February is the month for Black History to be spotlighted and educate all. We as a race, helped to shape America both willingly and unwillingly, but it is our country too and the pride is real.
Tell us something unique about your heritage, country of origin or family traditions. My family does not have any unique traditions. However, my sons (33 and 36) and I try to connect once a year at a Historically Black University football game (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune Cookman University, etc.) by immersing ourselves in our culture, enjoying football, the battle of the bands and good food.
What misconception about your heritage or country of origin would you like to correct? We are more than just fast runners, strong athletes, dance-a-holics or come from broken homes. We are scientists, entrepreneurs and accountants. We are family strong and believe in community, fairness and love despite the inequalities we have faced.
What do you consider to be the most important cultural value for you and for those close to you? (This will be something you consider a core/family value or that you would want to pass on to your children.) Integrity is what you do when no one else is looking. Do the right thing and make wise choices. I was taught that, and I have taught my sons the same value.
Tell us a little-known fact that most people don’t know about you. I enjoy motivating and encouraging others. Something else people don’t know about me is that I was a former disc jockey for a local radio station.
How important is it to you that Defense Logistics Agency Aviation recognizes this month? In order to remove the “I am inferior over you mindsets” of the past, we must actively encourage and educate. Broadening our scope to receive all people of all nationalities helps break down barriers of negative energy.
What do you want the DLA Aviation workforce to take away from celebrating this particular month? We were all created equal. There is good and bad in all of us, but what we all can share is love, dignity and respect for one another. However, it is up to each of us to give positive vibes.