139th hosts Diversity Champion Workshop
By Major Barb Denny, 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published June 17, 2009
St. Joseph -- What is diversity? That was one of the questions asked at the Diversity Champion Workshop held in St. Joseph May 4-6. Is it race, religion, gender and lifestyle?
"It's much more than that," said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Yuille, 139th AW human resource advisor. "It's diversity of thought and understanding that there is strength in differences."
The three day course taught by training specialist from Satori, a consulting firm, encourages participants to take a good look at their inner self. Stephanie Piimauna, one of the four instructors, says the workshop is about transforming the person to become a better leader.
"The training is hard to explain," said Chief Master Sgt Bill Thomas. "I think every single person should go to it. You have to take a good look at your self and it really puts you in someone else's shoes."
"I'm about two thirds of the way through my career and looking back I think there was a lot more I could have done. I think I'm in a position now where I can make the last third of my career more productive."
"I loved it," said Staff Sgt. Tia Caldwell. "It gives you a better understanding of how other people think...to see things from another perspective. I think it will be easy to put into practice."
Senior Airman Rachel Montesano said the training was much more than learning tolerance of others. "I think it is everyone's responsibility to be open to others opinions. It was really good training.'
Yuille said another workshop is being planned for later this year.