Messages of acceptance, inclusion at Martin Luther King Jr event
"All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
These were the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared by Reverend Clabon Bogan, Jr., pastor for the Christ Baptist Church in Burlington, New Jersey, during the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day celebration here Jan. 17.
Bogan spoke to an audience of approximately 80 members of the NAWCAD Lakehurst workforce and Sailors from Naval Support Activity (NSA) Lakehurst on the legacy of MLK and the lessons he left behind.
“We’ve got to come from a place and say ‘I’ve got to think about the things that Martin Luther King said and I’ve got to be an agent of that change.’ The ripple effect is that King is still speaking, even from the grave, and he’s speaking to us today. We have to be the agents to bring about the change in America as well as in the world,” Bogan said.
Bogan discussed how being kind and accepting of others can create a pattern of widespread inclusion.
“Knowing what somebody requires and doing what is required takes a commitment of the mark of those who have justice residing inside of them. We want to be treated in a certain way, let’s treat other folk in the same way,” Bogan said.
NAWCAD Lakehurst Site Director Mauricio Borrero echoed the importance of inclusion as it relates to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) mission.
“Our mission is to support the fleet, to make sure that our Sailors and Marines are able to do what they need to do and continue to improve their capabilities,” Borrero said. “As we work in Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) and competencies, it’s very important that we accept each other. Not simply just our backgrounds, but as we hire a more diverse workforce, we also need to be accepting of ideas regardless of what competency or background the people come from because they are all part of our team.”
NAWCAD Lakehurst’s African-American Pipelines Advisory Team (APAT) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Diversity Office hosted the annual MLK observance, which followed the theme that “All Life is Interrelated.”
“When I saw the theme, I was so inspired because I just thought if everybody got this idea that what affects one, affects all, we would be so much happier, more patient with each other and kind to one another,” said Marla Singleton, NAWCAD Lakehurst APAT co-lead.
APAT is a NAVAIR‐wide collaborative network to facilitate information sharing and lessons learned pertaining to the advancement and mentorship of NAVAIR's African‐American workforce.
APAT will hold a Black History Month observance event for the NAWCAD Lakehurst workforce Feb. 7.