NEWS | Aug. 3, 2021

VNG celebrates Unity/Diversity & Inclusion Day

By A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Virginia National Guard celebrated Unity/Diversity & Inclusion Day July 14, 2021, at the Virginia National Guard Sergeant Bob Slaughter Headquarters at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Hosted by the EEO/EO/JDEC Office of the VNG, the event featured guest speakers, displays and food tastings.  

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to take time to reflect on the importance of diversity and inclusion within the Virginia National Guard and, frankly, within our communities,” said Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, the Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff. “The Virginia National Guard is stronger based off of the diversity and inclusion within our ranks and formations. That’s not only in our military servicemen and women, that extends to our DoD civilians and state employees as well. Diversity is an important part and really makes the woven fabric of who we are as communities and we are stronger as a formation because of that.”

Speakers at the event included Edna Johnson, a subject matter expert in the fields of vocational rehabilitation, disability program management and reasonable accommodation programs; Victoria Bowens, the associate director diversity and inclusion for the director, Diversity Management Operations Center, Department of Defense; My Lan Tran, the administrator of the Virginia Asian Foundation and executive director of the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Scott Black, a physical therapist and orthopedic specialist at the Richmond and Hampton Veterans Administration Health Centers; and Robert Gray, the Chief of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and a Air National Guard veteran.

Speakers appearing via video call included Jessica Conner, a special emphasis program manager supporting diversity, equity and inclusion at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, and Linda Batiste, a principal consultant/legislative specialist with the Job Accommodations Network.

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