Carl I. Walters II, Chief Executive Officer of Outpatient Medical Center, Inc. was invited to speak to speak to students and faculty at Natchitoches Parish High School regarding the importance of celebrating Cultural Awareness. Mr. Walters’ opening remarks spoke of embracing and cultivating cultural awareness everyday instead of once a year. He told the 1,400+ students and teachers in attendance that is their moral, ethical, and spiritual responsibility to promote cultural diversity each day of their lives in school and in their lives outside of school.
Mr. Walters highlighted the contributions of all ethnic groups such as; Irish, Scottish, and Chinese immigrants built the nation’s railroads, canals, and tunnels. Italians and Germans built America’s early skyscrapers. Walters then chronicled the contributions of African-Americans’ contributions such as how African-Americans help build this country’s farms in the early years and later made technological advances such as helping create functional heart pacemakers and computers.
Between 1717 and 2017, 2,852,901 Americans from all backgrounds made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of this country. During World War II, the United States Marine Corps employed Native American Navajo communicated in their native language because the Japanese could not decipher their language. This significantly contributed to success in the Pacific theater.
Walters stated that this country has experienced times when its peoples have been labeled, hurt, oppressed, suppressed, or even killed for being different. Through embracing cultural awareness we have been able to grow as a nation; as communities across the nation; because of our being able to talk about, educate, embrace, and celebrate our cultural differences. Walters stated that it is important to remember that our country grew and became one of the most powerful nations in the world because of our ability to embrace cultural diversity and that when we respect, advocate for and truly embrace cultural diversity, we in effect celebrate who we are and the values we embrace as a people.
Mr. Walters ended his remarks with this quote: “We will know we have truly reached a point of celebrating, appreciating, and respecting our cultural awareness when; the discussion is no longer about a race thing; but about the social, ethical and spiritually correct thing.” “We must strive to move our country to one where we can truly love, respect, support and embrace each other, not because anyone is of a particular race, but rather because we are people.”