News | Feb. 22, 2021

Black History Month Spotlight: Kalisia Winkey

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

A Feb. 3  Presidential Proclamation on National Black History Month calls “on the American people to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans and to reflect on the centuries of struggle that have brought us to this time of reckoning, redemption, and hope.”

This year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity” was provided by Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the founders of Black History   (asalh.org)

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation spotlights Kalisia Winkey, who shares what the celebration of African American History Month means to her.

Name, Title/location Kalisia Winkey, contracting specialist, Pathways to Career Excellence Program, Richmond, Virginia 

How long have you worked for DLA? It will be two years in May.

What does the 2021 Black/African American History Month mean to you? Black History Month is a time to honor the story of African Americans in this country. It is a story of joy, excellence, resilience and triumph. When we consider the collective trauma experienced by us as a people and the audacity that it takes to wake up every day and dare - to dream, to hope, to live a full, rich life - in a society that has at times failed to fully claim us as its own, you can only come to one conclusion: our story is one of miracles. Miracles inspire us all.

Tell us a little known fact that most people do not know about you. My family is full of creatives. My great-great Aunt Ida became a well-renowned artist in the state of Pennsylvania (Chester County) and held a retrospective exhibit of her work in the 90s. Her story is really remarkable – she was the daughter of a former slave and didn’t start painting until her 70s.

How important is it to you that Defense Logistics Agency Aviation recognize this month? Representation matters. Stories are powerful. It is through stories that we come face-to-face with possibility – the possibility that we are the hero and not the villain, the victor and not the fallen, the beloved and not the scorned. Having DLA recognize this month affords us the opportunity to shine light on stories that often go untold and affords us a place to realize that possibility is now reality. We are among the heroes, the victors and beloved. We always have been – if only our history is told.

What do you want the DLA Aviation workforce to take away from celebrating this particular month? Through the celebration of Black History Month, we will become a more educated workforce – both intellectually and emotionally. Being able to connect with the experiences of others leads to not only a more diverse workforce, but also an inclusive working environment that allows all employees to thrive. We can only hope that by vying for an equitable workforce, we will take what we’ve learned to our homes, schools and places of worship to create an equitable world.