Seymour African American Heritage Committee honors Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sabrina Fuller
  • 4th Fighter Wing

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. — The Seymour Johnson African American Heritage Committee celebrated and honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 14, 2022.

The African American Heritage Committee commemorated the federal holiday by hosting a lunch with guest speaker Sylvia Barnes, president of Goldsboro Wayne chapter National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], and a performance by students from Carver Heights Elementary School.

“We brought in community members to speak on how things were in the local area during the Civil Rights Movement and students from Carver Heights Elementary school read from Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tyson Peek, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron production superintendent.

The African American Heritage Committee highlighted Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to the advancement of African American civil right and his accomplishments throughout history.

“In honor and remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., most people take the day off, but today we used it to observe what he stood for and to remember his actions during the civil rights movement,” said Peek. “We went out and engaged with others and worked together for unity.”

The committee is made up of 70 people who help the community with various volunteer projects.

“We go to elementary schools to read books to children; we’ve gone to middle school to help with homework and high school to start a big brother, big sister program,” said Senior Airmen Rovarian Taylor, 4th Logistics Readiness Squadron supply technician and Seymour African American Heritage Committee president.

The African American heritage committee also volunteers at local homeless shelters and fundraises for scholarships.

Taylor added that there are at least 12 different roles in the African American Heritage Committee and that it is open to anyone who wants to join.

“We hold a meeting weekly to bring together any and all who are interested in learning more about African American history,” said Peek. “During these meetings, we decide what volunteer opportunities and charities we want to work with.”

The African American Heritage Committee strives for open diversity and inclusiveness across the Wing.

“As DoD organizations, diversity is crucial in order to maintain strength and readiness,” said Peek. “One thing that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. set out to do through his non-violent approaches is overall inclusiveness. We have to consider the same thing as we continue to transition and build on into the future.”