REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL (WAFF) - WAFF 48 News played a part in a special big event on Redstone Arsenal that focused on unity and diversity in their growing workforce.
Hundreds filled the Bob Jones Auditorium at the Sparkman Center Wednesday morning for the installation’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance.
It was hosted by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, which implements Army security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Sales of defense articles and services to eligible foreign governments.
Anchor Kimberly Essex served as the guest interviewer, speaking to Reverend James Perkins. He is the first African American mayor of Selma and a well-known Civil Rights activist. Perkins championed the cause of voting rights in the 1960s; desegregation in the 1970s; technology education disparity in the 1990s; and illegal gun control, education quality and disparity, environmental injustice; and voter participation in the 2000s. He is the pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Selma.
During the discussion on stage, Perkins stressed the importance of doing hard, honest work to carry on Dr. King’s legacy.
“Each year, ‘A Day On, Not a Day Off’ is really about work. When we talk about a ‘Day On,’ it’s about doing the work of human resource development. So we’re excited about having the opportunity to be here,” Perkins said.
“It was just a reminder about how far we have come and a reminder that there’s still work to do and to continue Dr. King’s vision of serving the community,” added Robert Moore, Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.
The Alabama A & M University Choir performed during the event and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Several awards were also given to essay writers and and students who won a coloring contest.
Sergeant First Class Derron Gadison, Equal Opportunity Advisor for the Army Materiel Command, said the event highlighted the fact that work of Dr. King is a continuing effort that everyone needs to shoulder to help move our country forward.
“We’re all unified regardless of skin color, race, gender,” he stated. “Our diversity is our strength in the military. We see that every day with people that wear the uniform, people that are DA civilians, contractors. We are the grand manifestation of Martin Luther King’s message.”
When asked what advice he would give to future “change makers" during the event, Perkins responded: “Don’t throw away your wisdom.”