CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Camp Pendleton hosted a Multi-Cultural Day to celebrate the contributions of the different cultures in the United States and the military at the Mainside Patio here, May 26.
More than 40 Marines and civilians with Marine Corps Installations – West, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group and I Marine Expeditionary Force set up booths and exhibits in order to foster a sense of unity among the diverse groups serving within the military.
“Multi-Cultural Day is designed to share cultural, gender and religious awareness and diversity amongst the ranks in the military as well as the civilian community,” said Master Sgt. Mark Rivers, equal opportunity advisor with MCI – West.
The exhibits highlighted Marines’ roots, such as their African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and Pacific Islander, National American Indian and Caribbean American heritages.
“In our line of work, we deal with a diverse group of people who come from all walks of life,” said Rivers. “Especially when going to a different country, it’s absolutely important to show that you acknowledge and understand their culture in order to build an environment of trust and meaningful relationships.”
Some exhibits focused on historically significant figures and events such as Martin Luther King and the Holocaust, while other booths focused on gender equality and religious freedom.
“We need to make sure that everybody is treated equally regardless of gender, religion or race in order to continue upholding a professional work environment,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Katrina Wright, equal opportunity representative with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “Religion is heavily integrated into the culture in some of the areas our Marines and Sailors operate in. We need to respect these differences in order to set a good example as Americans.”
Civilian performers practiced instruments and sang traditional folk songs, while the booths showcased country-specific artifacts and culinary delights.
“My favorite part about all of this is seeing what each culture has to offer and trying out all sorts of different food,” added Wright.