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    Unique Cultures, Unified Committee: A Look into Ford’s Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee

    NEWPORT NEWS, VA, UNITED STATES

    07.18.2018

    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Elizabeth Thompson 

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

    Unique Cultures, Unified Committee:
    A Look into Ford’s Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee
    Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Thompson

    Aboard any U.S. Naval aircraft carrier, there are many organizations to be a part of that make these mighty warships get the nickname of ‘floating cities.’ Some of those organizations take shape in the form of a multitude of command organizations. One of those organizations is USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) which focuses on the inclusion of all.

    “The purpose of MCHC is to come together and celebrate the myriad cultures that Ford is comprised of,” said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Erika San Martin, a member of Ford’s command MCHC, from Sylmar, California. “We promote education of different cultures, from ethnic to community cultures, that have shaped us into the Sailors we are today.”

    Not only does MCHC highlight different cultures, but also anything that makes the more than 2,600 Sailors on board unique and diverse.

    “Diversity comes in all types of ways,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Tataiana Green, Ford’s command Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee president, from Cleveland. “This is the platform that allows Sailors to enlighten others on a variety of topics they may have never known about,” “Each month we have at least one event to ensure we are staying active and are able to give everyone a chance to express their version of diversity.”

    Each month focuses on a different nation-wide observance. Some of those special observances include: Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Month of the Military Child, Holocaust Remembrance, Suicide Prevention Month, National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Month. For any given month, the committee does a special observance in the form of a seminar, guest speaker, or special event.

    “We use the DEOMI (Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute) website each month to coincide with which observances are happening,” said Green. “As a committee, we solicit ideas and volunteers as far as what we present to the crew. From there, it takes a lot of coordination, time, and patience to organize an event.”

    Any MCHC event is open to the whole command and participation is always encouraged, appreciated, and well seen.

    “The outstanding comradery at this command is immeasurable,” said Chief Quartermaster Jose Triana, Ford’s command MCHC senior enlisted advisor, from Miami. “Sailors are proud of their diverse cultures and do not hesitate to share their history and train their fellow shipmates. The vast diversity and unlimited potential is why I am proud to represent USS Gerald R. Ford’s Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee.”

    That pride extends beyond the members of the committee.

    “I am proud to be a part of this committee because one thing you realize being a part of it is that Sailors are extremely proud of who they are and where they come from,” said Green.

    The committee is aimed towards bringing people together through a level of education and understanding.

    “I joined MCHC because I wanted to be close to people from my background because it helped me not miss home so much,” said San Martin. “But through being a part of this committee I also learned about other cultures and taught people about my own. In a way MCHC bought me my closest friends on ship.”

    Once a year, MCHC has a big exposition where all the things that make us uniquely different come together and present their background in a common area.

    “Last year we did a fashion and talent show and it was nice to see the clothes and dances from different countries,” said San Martin. “This last expo was by far my favorite. Getting Peruvian food for the crew to try and seeing how much they enjoyed it brought me much joy and pride in my heritage.”

    Ford Sailors from a wide variety of backgrounds represented more than 30 diverse cultures and backgrounds in the 2018 exposition.

    “Coordinating the 2018 expo involved the entire chain of command,” said Green. “It was extremely stressful and required a lot of dedicated Sailors, but it was well worth it to see the excitement when Sailors felt accomplished and represented. I am a fan of allowing Sailors to express themselves and giving them different avenues to do so. I saw enjoyment from all angles and I also enjoyed letting my creativity flow in representing Jamaica. What we are able to accomplish is amazing – having so many people from different backgrounds all with smiles on their faces - that’s what made me want to join MCHC.”

    Much like in the civilian world, a city is comprised of diverse people. Yet, what makes these cities and this ship great is the ability to recognize these differences, highlight and accept them much like what Ford’s command MCHC does.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.18.2018
    Date Posted: 12.19.2018 17:18
    Story ID: 304464
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 

    Web Views: 53
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