Ohio National Guard Unity Day celebration: A spice of life
Story by Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/30/19)
About 150 Ohio National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilian personnel working at Joint Force Headquarters experienced a taste of different cultures during the first Unity Day Celebration Sept. 23 at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory.
The Ohio National Guard’s Equal Opportunity/Diversity and Inclusion Office holds commemorative observances and varying activities on the drill floor throughout the year to help Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees gain a diverse cultural perspective. Capt. Jenniffer Green, state equal employment manager, is in charge of coordinating the observances, which have traditionally included guest speakers.
“We thoroughly enjoy our guest speakers who connect us with the different cultural and ethnic values that are out there,” Green said. “This year, we decided to hold a Unity Day Celebration as part of our cultural awareness observance to help celebrate our differences and common interests, which in turn, helps to unite and educate.”
Green added, “Everyone has to eat. Why not bring people together with the different ethnic foods to help learn about the diverse cultures that exist in Central Ohio?”
Michelle Osterhout, administrative assistant for the Ohio Army National Guard chief of staff, took advantage of the free lunch offered during the festivities.
“I’ve been looking forward to attending the Unity Day Celebration,” Osterhout said. “Getting the chance to taste all the different ethnic foods was my favorite part.”
The celebration included a variety of food to sample, music and fun facts displayed on the video screens, providing a relaxing atmosphere for people to enjoy while they ate and held conversations. The countries represented were Laos, Puerto Rico, India, Thailand, Jamaica and Vietnam.
“Through multicultural celebrations, not only do we become more aware of each other’s culture, we also gain a sense of pride for the diversity of our own culture,” Green said.