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News | April 10, 2018

EEO offers online view of Holocaust Remembrance Program

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

In a step that may mark a future path for Special Emphasis Program participation, Defense Contract Management Agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office is inviting its global workforce to digitally attend the 25th Annual Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Program livestream 11 a.m. EST, Thursday, April 12.

“These events help lay a solid foundation of understanding that enhances the agency’s ability to deliver uncompromising warfighter support. A diverse employee environment offers unparalleled effectiveness and collaborative problem solving,” said Linda Galimore, the DCMA EEO director. “Technology offers unlimited possibilities on how we can transform special emphasis events from isolated islands of celebration to community-driven global engagements.”

If team members are unable to watch the event live, it will be uploaded and available to watch a few days later at the same link.

This year’s event, labeled “Bearing Witness: A Holocaust Survivor on Schindler’s List,” features Halina Silber. She is one of hundreds of Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler, a Nazi businessman memorialized in the Academy-Award winning film “Schindler's List.”

“You are the last generation to hear of our suffering and the miracles by which we survived the Holocaust,” said Silber, a Krakow, Poland native, in a 2015 Baltimore Sun article. “Many of the Holocaust survivors have already passed away and so, when the rest of us will be gone, we hope that you will keep reminding the world of our past.”

According to its website, the Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Program began at the Department of Education in 1994 to commemorate the Days of Remembrance — an annual, national and civic commemoration of the Holocaust. Its purpose is to educate federal employees, students and the general public about the Holocaust.

Participation in such events aligns with DCMA Director Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis’ agency vision. In a November blog post, Lewis wrote celebrating the agency’s strength in diversity is a year-long goal. “Special Emphasis Programs are an integral part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program. These programs ensure agencies take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity in the hiring, advancement, training and treatment of minorities, women and people with disabilities. I consider diversity and EEO an operational imperative. Together we are committed to upholding and promoting these programs.”

In addition to the livestream access, Kevin Morgan, the agency’s Special Emphasis Program manager, has posted an informative Holocaust presentation on DCMA 360 (login required) for agency team members hoping to learn more.

“The more we can learn about each other, our history, and the daily challenges we face — both shared and unique — the stronger we become as an organization,” said Morgan. “Everything is strengthened through knowledge and understanding.”

For headquarters’ personnel, Holocaust Remembrance Day/Days of Remembrance observance will take place Thursday, April 12, 10 a.m., in Atrium conference rooms 1-4. It will feature Jay Ipson, a Litvak-American Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.

According to Morgan, a 6-year-old Ipson and his family were forced into the Kovno Ghetto. One day, when he and his mother were in line to be deported for a concentration camp, they were the only two people spared out of 5,000. After escaping the ghetto with his parents in 1943 just before it was turned into a concentration camp, they hid for nine months in the countryside where they spent six months underground in a potato hole.

For details regarding local Holocaust Remembrance Day or future Special Emphasis Program events, contact your local program coordinator.