November 8, 2012

Station hosts second annual Multicultural Day

Story and photos by Pfc. Brendan King
Desert Warrior Staff
The Carver Elementary School dance club, from Yuma, Ariz. entertains Marines and Sailors during Multicultural Day at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Nov. 1. The children performed several traditional Mexican dances relating to Mexican history.

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma hosted its second annual Multicultural

Day event at the parade deck, Nov. 1.

Multicultural day is organized to educate Americans on individual’s diverse backgrounds.

“Cultural diversity is a necessity for any group, team, branch or nation,” said Gunnery Sgt. Lenny Vasquez, the station equal

opportunity advisor and native of Miami, Fla. This includes the diversity of talent we all bring to the table to accomplish our mission. We cannot overlook any segment of our organization when we are trying to fill positions with the best and brightest,”

Marines, Sailors and civilians from across the station represented different cultures during the event to educate those in attendance about the rich diversity of the United States.   Presentations included early American storytellers, Carver Elementary School dancers and the Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Museum recollections of Yuma’s military history.

“I am very much honored to be here and teach about my culture and learn about the others,” said Barbra Levy, a Native American story teller and a native of the Fort Yuma Reservation, Calif. “This is a great opportunity for people to be educated on the cultures around them and appreciate everyone’s homecoming.”

Levy travels throughout California and Arizona educating many on her Native American culture. Her son, who is currently serving his second enlistment in the Navy, hopes to one day join her and do the same.

The Carver Elementary dance club entertained those in attendance with multiple dances. The children were there to show off their traditional Mexican dances, as well as learn about others groups in attendance.

“I hope the kids by coming here can learn and be exposed to all the different cultures and the military and how diverse all are friends can be,” said Martina Eldirge, a native of San Luis, Mexico. “I want the children to be able to have some understanding of just how diverse a family can be and see that we can all be very different and still

work towards a common goal.”

“The goal of this event is to educate and entertain, while fostering unity and cohesion aboard MCAS Yuma.” added Vasquez. “We hope to break down stereotypes and hatred with a better understanding for one another.”

Multiculturalism is a philosophy that appreciates ethnic diversity within a society and encourages people to learn from the contributions of different cultures and embrace them.

Barbra Levy, a Native American story teller and a native of Fort Yuma Reservation, Calif. gives examples during Multicultural Day of how her ancestors lived years ago at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Nov. 1. Levy travels throughout California and Arizona educating many on her Native American culture.

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