“By taking the time to educate ourselves on our history and the people who shaped this nation, we can more fully appreciate the ideals set down by the founders. It’s a reminder that our work is to sustain freedom and ensure that rights and liberty belong to all our citizens.”-(Ret.) Adm. Michelle J. Howard
Each February, we are reminded through observation and reflection of the tremendous contributions of African-Americans to our country and our history.
This year, Joint Task Force-National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington Military Equal Opportunity Office (MEOO) provided a professional leadership development day for the workforce to step outside the base and into the halls of history in honor of African-American/Black History Month Feb. 24, 2022.
About 30 staff members participated in self-guided tours of the 400,000 square foot, five-level museum, shaped like a bronze crown.
“It’s important because oftentimes we think we know what history tells us, but once we look at it, we’re able to see this did happen. It’s not just what I read, it’s not what I heard,” said Dr. Anita Greenlee, deputy director of Force Protection. “[Seeing] documents provide proof of what has occurred and gives me hope for what can occur.”
The visit was Greenlee’s first to the museum.
Bart Jumaoas, JTF-NCR/USAMDW Secretary of the General Staff, had previously visited the museum following its opening in 2016.
“I was really taken by the ‘Great Migration’ of African-Americans from the South [due to Jim Crow laws] to the North and West of the U.S. from the 1900s to the 1970s,” said Jumaoas. “I’m originally from Northern California, and there was a detailed display of African-Americans migrating to the San Francisco Bay Area [mostly Alameda and Richmond] for work post-WWI and during WWII. As a first generation Filipino-American, I am always curious to learn how families ended up where they do.”
In addition to the museum visit, the staff also held a staff-wide brownbag leadership development discussion focused on Gen.(Ret.) Colin Powell’s “Thirteen Rules” in observance of African-American/Black History Month. Jumaoas emphasized how command leadership has expanded national ethnic observance commemorations to allow for professional and leadership development, readiness and resiliency.
“We are fortunate to work and live in a region that provides deep history of our country, and we should take advantage of it for professional and leadership development,” said Jumaoas. “I look forward to the next opportunity.”
The National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the nation’s premier museum dedicated to highlighting, documenting, exploring and showcasing the African-American people’s journey and its global impact of the past to present.