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News | Jan. 18, 2018

DCMA celebrates MLK Day with words, poems, fellowship

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Jan. 18, 2018 — President of Virginia State University Makola Abdullah asked a packed auditorium of Defense Contract Management Agency acquisition professionals a simple question during the headquarters element’s Martin Luther King Day celebration Jan. 11: “What would Dr. King think of the world we live in today?”

Abdullah, who served as the event’s guest speaker, delivered a positive message of serving others before self while acknowledging the dangers of social media and its ability to “desensitize” society to the suffering of others.

“We must always remind ourselves it is never ok to see another person suffer,” said Abdullah, after asking the crowd, “What can we do for our fellow brothers and sisters?”

Virginia-born poet, author and educator Latorial Faison also served as a special guest. Faison, who is married to Army Lt. Col. Carl Faison, the deputy G1 for Combined Arms Support Command, read many of her works to include: “My Country It Was For Thee.”

“My country, it was for thee,
Sweet land so deliberately, of thee, he’d sing

Land where his fathers died,
Land where his children cried

From the inner cities to the country sides,
Let ‘The Dream’ of the dreamer ring.”

Since being named agency director in 2017, Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis has stressed the importance of special emphasis events to organizational health.

“Diversity can be a bridge to innovation,” wrote Lewis, in a recent command blog message. “Our uniqueness in culture, background, service and education are assets that drive our dynamic workforce toward its optimal capability. I highly encourage planned events throughout the organization with strong participation to celebrate the contributions of our diverse and outstanding team members. Celebrating our strength in diversity is a year-long goal. It will build appreciation, understanding and acceptance as we all work toward a common goal of unwavering warfighter support.”

There is perhaps not a better day to demonstrate a commitment to these ideals as King is globally celebrated as an influential civil rights leader who preached nonviolent activism as a catalyst to change.

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral,” said King, during his Nobel Peace Prize lecture at Oslo, Norway, Dec. 11, 1964. “I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”

Linda Galimore, DCMA Equal Employment Opportunity director, reinforced the admiral’s diversity message while providing her own view on the importance of the agency’s special emphasis programs.

“Active participation in these events benefits all DCMA team members,” said Galimore. “The more we understand about our individual experiences the more our strength as a whole is reinforced. Understanding the diverse backgrounds of your team members is a great tool within one’s personal and professional development. It also plays a key role in the development of a positive, enjoyable working environment, which is something we all want.”