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Take a moment to learn more

Capt. Jamillah Gonzalez, 960th Cyberspace Wing executive officer, stands for a U.S. Air Force official photo. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Capt. Jamillah Gonzalez, 960th Cyberspace Wing executive officer, stands for a U.S. Air Force official photo. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Capt. Jamillah Gonzalez, 960th Cyberspace Wing executive officer, visits Machu Picchu, Peru, during a vacation in July 2018. (Courtesy photo by Aaron Bethel)

Capt. Jamillah Gonzalez, 960th Cyberspace Wing executive officer, visits Machu Picchu, Peru, during a vacation in July 2018. (Courtesy photo by Aaron Bethel)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-CHAPMAN TRAINING ANNEX, Texas -- When I think of the Hispanic Heritage Month, 15 Sept. – 15 Oct., I think of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and their mission, which is to “Develop and deliver innovative education, training, research and collaborative solutions to optimize total force readiness.”

Recently, I found myself sharing with some of our organizational leaders that diversity and inclusion is tied to mental health. I stated that, “In my mind the correlation is this; diversity and inclusion is about fostering an environment where people can be themselves, be understood and appreciated and rise to their highest potential. All of these matters simultaneously support mental health.”

Taking a moment to learn more and understand our diverse population can lead to positive outcomes and growth.

In a recent conversation, I mentioned there was a time when speaking Spanish was often prohibited through policies and that some people faced this rejection to their culture.

I, personally, feel fortunate that such a barrier was lifted, at least from my experience, and I can sprinkle some Spanish from time-to-time and not feel it will cause barriers to me in the future.

I am hopeful that others share this experience and perception. Additionally, I hope we can continue to cherish our diversity and find inclusion as the way to build a winning team.

If you’d like to know more, the DEOMI offers a Hispanic Heritage Month information base that shares more about people, events, milestones and quotes regarding this special observance month.