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By Thomas Perry
DCMA Public Affairs
Days of Remembrance, an annual commemoration of the Holocaust, will be observed Thursday, April 8.
Congress established Days of Remembrance to educate federal employees, students and the public about the Holocaust.
The National Archives hour-long Lunch & Learn Series presents “Americans and the Holocaust” with Dr. Shelly Cline, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education April 22, at noon.
The discussion asks “important questions about what Europeans could have done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and its assault on Europe’s Jews. Questions must also be asked about the responsibility of the international community, including the United States. This talk will also discuss the priorities for Americans during the 1930s and 1940s and the U.S. role in the liberation of Europe.”
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum the recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. In the United States, Days of Remembrance runs from the Sunday before Yom Hashoah through the following Sunday.
For 2021, Observances and remembrance activities will occur nationwide between Sunday, April 4, and Sunday, April 11.
President Biden condemns violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
President Joe Biden announced additional actions in response to anti-Asian violence, xenophobia and bias March 30.
These initiatives hope to advance equity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through a whole-of-government approach to racial justice, per the news release.
“Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake,” said Biden. “They’ve been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed. They’ve been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed … The conversation we had today with the AAPI leaders, and that we’re hearing all across the country, is that hate and violence often hide in plain sight. And it’s often met with silence. That’s been true throughout our history, but that has to change — because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also condemned the recent violence, harassment, and acts of bias against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The condemnation came by resolution, which reaffirmed the commission’s commitment to combat all forms of harassment and discrimination against AAPI communities.
“The commission condemns the recent violence and discrimination against AAPI persons in the strongest possible terms,” said Charlotte Burrows, EEOC chair. “Hatred, xenophobia and racism violate our nation’s core principles. The commission stands in solidarity with the victims, their families, and AAPI communities across the nation, and we pledge to work together to address harassment, bias and discrimination in the workplace.”
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. DCMA will host a variety of events to increase awareness of sexual assault within the agency.
Teal Tuesdays: Each Tuesday in April, team members are encouraged to wear teal to show support to survivors of sexual violence. The dates are as follows: April 6, 13, 20 and 27.
SAPR Awareness Virtual Fitness Challenge: A virtual fitness challenge is set for April 1-30 to increase awareness about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. During the month, participants are encouraged to:
• Walk 10 miles in honor of survivors of sexual assault;
• Do 73 sit-ups, as an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds;
• Do 90 jumping jacks, as 90% of victims are female;
• Do 10 push-ups, as 10% of victims are male; and
• Walk 20,500 steps, for the number of military personnel who experienced sexual assault in 2018.
A tracking sheet is available on the DCMA 360 website, and participants get extra points for wearing teal while doing the exercises. Prizes are available. Medical personnel should be consulted before beginning a new fitness regimen.
Denim Day: Support survivors of sexual assault by wearing blue jeans on April 28. Denim Day’s origin came about after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight blue jeans, and it found the victim must have helped the perpetrator, making it consensual sex. Enraged and within hours of the verdict, women in the Italian Parliament wore blue jeans to work in protest. This call to action reached the California Senate and Assembly and spread across the country from there. It has been recognized on the last Wednesday of April each year since.
For more details about any of the events and to submit participation photos, email Cheryl Hendrix, the agency’s SAPR program manager or visit the program’s 360 page (login required).
In the 2021 Proclamation on National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month, President Joe Biden proclaimed: “Sexual assault, at its core, is a devastating abuse of power — one that affects people of every age, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socioeconomic background and religion. It is the responsibility of each of us to stand up and speak out against it, not only to improve the laws and services available to survivors, but also to change the culture and attitudes that allow sexual assault to proliferate. Together, we must work toward a society that upholds every person’s right to live free from sexual violence — where our institutions and communities commit to preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment, supporting survivors, and holding offenders accountable.”
Working toward a society that aims to prevents sexual assault and harassment, support survivors and hold offenders accountable is an effort that should be championed by all. The Defense Department, which includes DCMA, observes this month by promoting the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault within the ranks, accounting to the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response website. Resources, like the DOD Safe Helpline, exist for service members, veterans and DOD Civilians who are victims of sexual assault.
DCMA is committed to preventing sexual assault.
Behaviors that lead to sexual assault will not be tolerated, condoned or overlooked. If sexual assault does occur, DCMA has resources available for victims.
Goals of the DCMA SAPR program are:
• Create an organizational climate that minimizes sexual assault incidents and encourages victims to report incidents without fear of retribution,
• Ensure sensitive and comprehensive treatment is provided to restore a victim’s health and well-being,
• Ensure leadership understands their roles and responsibilities to sexual assault victims, and
• Ensure appropriate administrative and disciplinary action is taken when necessary.
Eastern Region presents Women’s History Month digital event
The agency’s Eastern Regional Command hosted a digital “Women in DCMA: Rewriting Women’s History” presentation and a panel discussion to celebrate Women’s History Month March 25.
The event, which highlighted the many achievements and experiences of women in the workforce, featured women in leadership roles from inside and outside the agency.
Brig. Gen. Alice Trevino, Air Force Installation Contracting Center commander, and former DCMA contract management office and Western Region commander, served as the events guest speaker.
Agency panelists included Sonya Ebright, Contracts executive director; Storme Guaraldi, DCMA BAE Systems director; Valisa Harris, DCMA Manassas supervisory contract specialist; and Rachelle Munz, DCMA San Diego quality assurance director.
DCMA Director Army Lt. Gen. David Bassett joined the online celebration and shared his thoughts on the vital role women play in his agency’s warfighter support mission.
Linda Galimore, the agency’s EEO director, said the event was well received throughout the agency.
“These events can broaden our ability to share, inform and educate large groups of agency team members regarding EEO efforts throughout the year,” said Galimore. “There are so many leaders with so much to share around the agency. This technology allows us all to benefit from a single event that could be hosted at offices around the world.”
Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month. As a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act, government employees with autism are protected from discrimination and are afforded equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment.
Autism Spectrum Disorder includes a range of complex developmental disorders characterized by mild to severe challenges in social, emotional, and communication abilities, according to the DoD-directed medical research programs.
For DCMA employees on the autism spectrum in need of accommodations in the workplace, there are resources available to assist. The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program helps eliminate employment barriers for people with disabilities, according to its website. An online request form is available on the website for customers to identify and request accommodations.
For those who need an accommodation, CAP offers a variety of assessments that can be requested. Learn more about possible accommodations here or contact Beatrice Bernfeld, the agency’s disability program manager.
Month of the Military Child
In 1986, then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger designated April as “Month of the Military Child.”
Each year since, other Defense secretaries have followed suit. Children are a vital part of the military family, and each year, installations across the globe hold events and ceremonies to recognize them.
While some celebrations may be derailed or downsized due to the global pandemic, there are many other ways to recognize the children of the DOD workforce.
For events near you, check your local installation’s newspaper or Facebook page. If your unit is not close to an installation, commands are encouraged to plan activities to focus on concerns involving our children or ways to highlight them. Find out more about Month of the Military Child here.
Final chance to DEOCS
DCMA team members have a final opportunity to inspire change through the 2021 Defense Organizational Climate Survey, or DEOCS.
The anonymous survey, which “is designed to assess the ‘shared perceptions’ of respondents about formal or informal policies and practices,” has been extended to April 14 with a goal to reach 70% participation.
EEO’s Debra Simmon, who is serving as DCMA’s survey administrator, is available to answer questions by email.
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