Celebrating Black History Month the Altus AFB way Published Jan. 31, 2017 By Airman Jackson N Haddon ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- In 1976 President Gerald R. Ford dedicated February as Black History Month to recognize the various struggles, moments and the heritage of African Americans.“Black History Month is relevant to Altus AFB because it’s a part of American history and as the Air Force we are a big family who’s really diverse,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alison Ablog, 97th Medical Group health care administrator. “This month is special to me because black history is a part of American history. I like to know about our history.”The base is hosting several events to help promote diversity, raise awareness and celebrate Black History Month.The first is a pledge based fitness challenge scheduled for Feb. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Feb. 10 a free “Food for the Soul” luncheon with a Buffalo Soldier Presentation is scheduled for 11 a.m., at the Freedom Community Center. The month is scheduled to finish with an open mic night at Charlies, Feb. 25.Teamwork and cooperation is a priority for the Air Force and recognizing the history and heritage of the people serving helps to accomplish that goal.“The Air Force recognizes this month because we are a total force not just a force of one ethnic group,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Monise Butler, 97th Medical Operations Squadron public health journeyman. “Whenever you go to staff meetings or commanders calls, it’s not just a group of black people or white people or Asian people. It is a group of multi-national, multi-cultural people from all over the world.”The Air Force promotes healthy teamwork by educating its members about the different cultures and ethnic heritages of its members.“It’s a celebration of African American heritage, but it’s also a teaching opportunity,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ivor Tiwari, 97th Air Mobility Wing director of equal opportunity. “I think the most important part of this month is the education aspect of it. To be able to use diversity and inclusion in the unit you have to know each person’s beliefs, perspective and views. The more people we have participating the more everyone’s going to learn about it.”Using history and heritage to promote diversity and inclusion makes Altus AFB proud to help celebrate Black History Month. For more information, contact Tech Sgt. Monise Butler at (580) 481-5488.