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Celebrating diversity: Asian American, Pacific Islander heritage honored with luncheon

Team Little Rock members celebrate American Asian and Pacific Islander Month during a luncheon May 26, 2017, at the Walter's Community Support Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The event educated and highlighted Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols)

Team Little Rock members celebrate American Asian and Pacific Islander Month during a luncheon May 26, 2017, at the Walter's Community Support Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The event educated and highlighted Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Team Little Rock celebrated the Air Force's diversity with an Asian American and Pacific Islander Month luncheon May 25, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

The event educated and highlighted Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage, hosted by the 19th Airlift Wing Military Equal Opportunity Office.

Activities included ukulele music performances, booths with cultural information, trivia questions and hula dancing.

A variety of dishes with cuisine highlighting an aspect of each culture, from Hawaiian pork to Filipino lumpia was the staple of the event.

"It's important to educate and include everyone and their culture," said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Wilson, 19th AW MEO advisor. "Events like this help foster a sense of community."

Some individuals wore their native garments to honor their heritage, but natives weren't the only ones in attendance; people from all ethnicities were welcome.

"This event celebrates part of my culture and history, but that doesn't mean someone who doesn't have my background can't be part of it," said Staff Sgt. Peter Beyer, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron fire officer. "I'll always welcome anyone who is interested in my heritage and who wants to represent it."

Observing and celebrating diversity can continue throughout the year, too.

"The Air Force recognizes Asian American and Pacific Islander month and other special observances throughout the year to enhance cross-cultural awareness and to promote diversity," said Wilson.

For more information about diversity and heritage events, contact the 19th AW MEO office at (501) 987-8629.

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