Department of the Interior

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CONTACT: Isabel Benemelis Nicoli
July 14, 2005
Joan Moody 202-208-6416
Department of the Interior Celebrates "Diversity Days"

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of the Interior launched the first annual "DOI Diversity Days" on July 13 and 14 at its headquarters in Washington to "celebrate and educate employees about the many cultures and groups represented among DOI employees."

Hosted by the Office of Civil Rights and the DOI Special Emphasis Observances Committee in partnership with the National Park Service, the observance began with diversity training workshops on July 13 for DOI employees and students. To emphasize the theme that "Diversity Includes Me," the workshops focused on "Diversity is the Answer, Not the Issue."

The official Kick-Off Ceremony for "DOI Diversity Days" took place in Rawlins Park at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2005 with welcome remarks from Craig Manson, assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Judge Manson emphasized that no matter where our families originated, we are all Americans. "Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed," he said, quoting from Langston Hughes poem "Let America be America Again."

NPS director Fran Mainella; DOI deputy chief human capital officer Kathleen Wheeler; Joe Lawler, NPS regional director of the National Capital Region; and John W. Wallace, Jr., director of the D.C. Office of Consumer Affairs then joined Manson in unveiling a mural recently painted by DOI employees and students under the guidance of artist Laurie Marshall, known for her collaborative art projects with schools, government agencies and museums.

The Rawlins Park celebration continued until 3 p.m. with exhibits, music by IMANI, a Latino jazz band, and an open-mike talent show.

The Office of Personnel Management, General Services Administration, Red Cross and other agencies in close proximity as well as the general public were invited to join DOI for the celebration in the park.

Indoor activities for Interior employees in the Main Interior Building on July 14 included an "Ethnic Dessert Cook-Off," a "Cultural Artifacts Display," and cultural vendors in the basement. .
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Sylvia Jones, Office of Civil Rights on 202-208-3254 or


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