Herk Nation celebrates MLK Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Ortega Corona
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Team Little Rock and The Pan-African Heritage Council hosted a series of events at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Jan. 11, 2024.

Herk Nation not only commemorated the legacy of Dr. King as a civil rights leader, but also promoted diversity, equality, and unity through various activities to engage the community in reflection and dialogue.

As part of the day’s events, a leadership panel convened at the Walters Community Support Center, where they discussed the role of leadership in creating a diverse and inclusive military culture. The panel consisted of Brig. Gen. Leland Shepherd, Arkansas Army National Guard; Col. Patric Coggin, 189th Airlift Wing commander; Chief Master Sgt. Regina Monk, 189th AW command chief; and Mr. Arthur "A.J." Brown, 19th Contracting Squadron deputy director of business operations.

The panel explored strategies to address challenges and foster an environment where everyone felt empowered and valued.

“Today’s participation was great and one of the big highlights was having my commander on the stage,” said Monk. “You could tell he’s passionate about Dr. King's dream and he’s passionate about the panel.”

Additionally, an Understanding Bias class, was conducted by Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Kraska, 189th AW human resource advisor, to provide Airmen with insights into recognizing and addressing unconscious biases. The class aimed to enhance awareness and encourage open conversations about the impact of biases on individuals and the broader military community.

“Dr. King's vision of equality, justice, and peace has profoundly shaped our society and continues to inspire us to work towards a future where every individual is judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” said Col. Denny Davies, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander. “His faith-based message, Civil Rights leadership, and unwavering commitment to nonviolence left an everlasting mark on history.”

The day’s events served as a testament of Herk Nation’s commitment to foster an environment where the principles of equality and justice are woven into the fabric of daily life.

“As members of the United States Air Force, we are bound by a shared commitment to defend the freedoms and values for which Dr. King so passionately advocated,” said Davies. “Let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of these principles, not only in service to our country but in our daily interactions with one another.”