Diversity and Inclusion Working Group hosts MLK Jr. Breakfast

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 97th Air Mobility Wing's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group hosted the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" Breakfast serving approximately 50 members at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, January 14, 2022.

The event consisted of speeches from Col. Blaine Baker, 97th AMW commander, Chief Master Sgt. Kerry Thompson, 97th Security Forces Squadron superintendent, and a discussion panel made up of senior enlisted leaders.

“There are still places inside of this nation where Dr. King's dream is delayed, so we have to keep fighting,” said Thompson. “Folks would rather deal with comfortable injustice, than deal with uncomfortable truth. I know what you are seeing in circles, watching people not making the hard decision. Nobody gets better from that.”

After Thompson’s opening statements, the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group presented Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech which was followed by the discussion panel. 1st Lt. Destini Hamilton, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron section commander, led the group in creating the event.

“It starts with understanding what we've been up against,” said Hamilton. “How can you relate to someone that you don't even know and what they're battling every single day? It's important to understand where we've come from, to understand where we are, and where we're going.”

Hamilton shared that in order to support the 97th AMW mission to Train Exceptional Mobility Airmen, and the overall Air Force mission, Airmen need to learn about other backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures because that brings different viewpoints and perspectives to the table.

Thompson closed the event with a request to every Airman, spouse and civilian in the Mighty 97th.

“I challenge each and everyone in this room to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Thompson. “Use today to speak to one another about what you believe Dr. King's legacy is. Call out those injustices when you see it, ask the hard questions. Because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service. I believe this should inspire us to act and to help improve the community.”