By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia USAF Ret.
In society, communicating diversity is a leadership commitment and process. This process informs people on ways to share similarities while not overlooking their differences. However, this process must be free of ambiguities and misunderstandings. I strongly concur with George Bernard Shaw’s statement, “Making sure communication does take place is particularly challenging for diversity leaders because; misconceptions, ambiguities, myths, and simple misunderstandings often complicate the process of implementing diversity initiatives.”
In leadership, communicating diversity has been necessary to survive in an ever-changing society. From my experience as an adjunct professor and academic advisor at Eastern Florida State College and former instructor at Franklin K. Lane (FKL) Educational Campus (six high schools with ten different languages), students pride themselves on their ability to communicate in dialects from around the globe. As a result, students feel passionate, committed, and empowered, about their diversity and cultures which developed the campus’ trademark.
For the past 9 years, the campus has impressed me with the opportunities presented to the FKL students. In communicating diversity, Black History Month recognized and rewarded Black excellence. MSgt Eddie Carr and his Air Force Junior ROTC cadets have highlighted their presence and continue to be active roles in the community. MSgt Carr recognized the need to utilize our experience in leadership to communicate diversity and reach our students’ needs which will be impactful and beneficial to their future endeavors. Thus, this article is a tribute to the cultural diversity exhibited on campus. My experience writing for the “Al Día Today” newspaper, has allowed me to reach out and connect with diverse groups. The group at FKL is a perfect example and connection to culture and diversity. One important goal etched into my heart and soul is the ability to appreciate diversities and cultures. This leadership commitment and passion also exhibit my heritage.
The campus AFJROTC unit extended its involvement into the classrooms via students’ collaboration and discussions about the importance of communicating diversity. I continue to be passionate and dedicated to the cultures and diversities that are presented in New York City and all over the world. This passion and dedication have been displayed by MSgt Carr every year who has been a beacon for human development and cultural perspective. He has been instrumental in the cultural and human development of many individuals and has paved the way, to a more diverse, and prosperous future for his cadets.