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Barksdale Airmen Celebrate Cultures with “Around-the-World” Potluck

  • Published
  • By By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team

The 2nd Bomb Wing and the LEAP Chapter at Barksdale Air Force Base recently collaborated on an initiative to allow more than 100 Airmen and community members at the base to highlight and celebrate diverse cultures with their first “Around-the-World” Potluck.

Col. Erick D. Lord, Deputy Wing Commander at Barksdale Air Force Base, provided opening remarks for the event, after which more than 100 Barksdale Airmen participated in trying samples of different cuisines from around the world. As individuals tried the samples, they also had the opportunity to vote on which dish they liked the best while they learned about the Language Enabled Airman Program. Ultimately, the Barksdale LEAP Chapter announced and awarded trophies for the winning dishes.

According to Barksdale LEAP Chapter President and Japanese LEAP Scholar Master Sgt. Corey Holt, the inaugural event gave linguistically and culturally diverse Airmen in the Barksdale Air Force Base community the opportunity to “bring a piece of their culture to Barksdale.”

“Within the United States, it can be difficult for Airmen to truly express their cultures, being separated from their home environment,” Holt explained. “Immersion is vital to language maintenance and cultural understanding. We hope that by providing a little food and a story, we can empower our culturally competent Airmen while enlightening the broader Barksdale community.” 

This initiative helped accomplish the Barksdale LEAP Chapter’s overall goals of raising awareness about LEAP and expanding language and cultural awareness across the community. Using food as a connection point between cultures, the team provided an outlet for Airmen from diverse backgrounds to integrate their cultures while showcasing their appreciation and dedication to the United States Air Force. 

In the words of Senior Airman Danielle James, the community development and public affairs representative for the Barksdale LEAP Chapter, “It’s hard to have a bad time when you’re eating good food.”

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