Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph –
The African American Heritage Committee at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph is increasing its number of events during Black History Month from three in 2012 to eight this year, kicking off the month with "Taste of Soul," a soul food-tasting exposition 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the JBSA-Randolph Youth Center Gym.
"We took our same mentality and level of commitment from last year, which was lauded as our best year we've ever had, and went beyond with planning," Maj. Mario Verrett, AAHC president, said.
The committee's flagship event, the Legacy Ball, had its largest audience ever of 460 attendees in 2012, catapulting it to be featured on several local websites.
"From 2010 - the AAHC Legacy Ball's inauguration - to now, the difference is night and day," Staff Sgt. Tausha Walker, AAHC committee member, said. "We had people asking as early as May about our events. We set a standard, met it and we hope to exceed expectations this year by making what we do bigger and better."
Part of that standard is to "raise cultural awareness and make sure education opportunities are out there," Tech. Sgt. Letosha Shepherd, AACH vice president, said.
"The military has been the lead agency in integration for all cultures, races and women," Verrett said. "The best agency needs to be the best at raising awareness not only during Black History Month, but for all awareness months."
The committee hopes to inspire camaraderie by encouraging others to "be well-rounded, open-minded and knowledgeable about other cultures," Walker said.
The AAHC will also give back to the San Antonio community. Proceeds raised during this year's Legacy Ball will go entirely to the San Antonio African American Community Fund.
The Legacy Ball, Feb. 15 at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country, hosted by Gen. Edward Rice Jr., Air Education and Training Command commander, will feature a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., a vocal performance by the JBSA-Lackland choir and video footage of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, D.C., Shepherd said.
For tickets, visit http://4th-annual-legacyball.eventsbot.com.
To volunteer at any event, contact Verrett at 652-4527, Shepherd at 652-7129 or Master Sgt. Sanelle Romero, AAHC media chief, at 565-2665.