FORT SILL, Okla., Oct. 2, 2020 -- On Aug. 28, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery held its first Spoken Word event hosted by the battalion’s Stronger Together Diversity Council. The event took place on the day of the Diamond Den’s grand opening.The hard work of the Soldiers, NCOs, and officers helped to bring the whole event together. The event was developed by the battalion’s diversity council. The council consists of two representatives, recommended or nominated by leadership, from each battery/company, and led by 1st Lt. Stephen Bissainthe with assistance from 1st Lt. Exter Gilmore. The preparation that led up to the event was impressive.Each week the council meets at the Diamond Den to discuss ways to effectively talk about difficult topics and issues in society, and then discuss it within the battalion’s ranks. During a two-week period, the council received feedback from peers, Soldiers, and leaders to come up with the first event: a Spoken Word.The next meeting involved discussing with the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Keith Williams, everything needed to bring this vision together.At the early stages of planning the event, the council started from scratch. The venue, the Diamond Den (a new spot for rotational units to hang out, host events, etc.), was still in pretty rough condition. The building needed paint, the air conditioning unit was not effective, and the place had a harsh smell.Nonetheless, the council, with the help of others in the battalion, prevailed. They were able to turn the Diamond Den into a comfortable place to host an event. Not to mention, all eight council members were taking part in the unit’s ongoing quarantine barracks mission, working 12- to 16-hour shifts during the month.As leaders of the council, Bissainthe and Gilmore were admittedly a bit worried that they were burning out their council members, and that some had given up on the idea. Both were so glad to be wrong. The opposite happened.As the opening day approached, the members got the music, food, all of the décor, and, most importantly, a new air conditioner unit just in time for the event.The council’s hard work, put in for the previous three weeks, was a true reflection of the unit’s dedication and showed how important it was to host this event and make it memorable.The lights were off, the candles lit, the food was hot, and 2nd Lt. DJ Ochoa (the battalion’s own master on the disc jockey machine) set the stage with music that set the tone for a great event.The 2-4th FA Stronger Together Council had successfully pulled everything together to hold its first event based on bringing the unit together through diversity.The atmosphere was better than anyone on the council had imagined, thanks mainly to the vision inspired by council member Spc. Deja Sims-Dean. She put her ideas out there, and the other council members agreed and helped make this vision come true.Spc. Christine An and Pfc. Michael Robinson gathered the decorations and arranged them in the Diamond Den.Spc. Teron Williams along with Sgt. Talisha Williams prepared delicious food. Sgt. Isaac Taylor and Pfc. Christopher Jones helped with the Diamond Den’s aesthetics. Cpl. Jaylin D’Jomambo provided the sound equipment for the performers and the DJ.Cpl. Alexander Mason served as the host and master of ceremonies. He kept the crowd involved with his charisma and onstage presence. Everything that night was perfect.A night full of great performances from Soldiers of different races, religions, genders, and cultures brought them closer, and in some instances, left the room stunned in silence.The biggest complaint was that the event was not long enough. As they should be, the council members were proud of their accomplishment.Still, they cannot wait until they can get started on the next event for the battalion.