NSA Panama City holds first Women’s Equality Day event

Local News

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — On Monday, August 26, Commanding Officer Kevin Christenson of Naval Support Activity Panama City signed a proclamation to recognize Women’s Equality Day.

CO Kevin Christenson signs proclamation for Women’s Equality Day
Photo Courtesy: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clyde B. Laster

On Tuesday, the base held its first-ever Women’s Equality Day event inside the Long Glass Building.

“At NSA Panama City, we’re proud to recognize women’s equality and highlight equality. dignity and respect for all,” Commander Christenson said.

Donna Pilson
Photo Courtesy: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clyde B. Laster

The event featured current sailors who serve on base who shared an influential woman in their life. The group also heard from two civilians, Donna Pilson, and Sharon Michalik, who encouraged all to support women but also include all types of people.

The organizer of the event says this is also the first year the base has a Diversity and Inclusion Program.

“It’s letting history continue and letting the women workforce continue to be proud of their accomplishments and celebrating those accomplishments,” said Deirdre Mickens, Program Integrator.

After the speakers were finished, a single sailor was given an award.

Sharon Michalik
Photo Courtesy: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clyde B. Laster

Religious Program Specialist Third Class, Onisha Simmons works on base and heads community relations efforts.

In the last year, Commander Christenson says she’s accumulated more than 1,400 hours of community service.

“I am extremely proud of Ms. Simmons and throughout her pregnancy and into a storm, she accumulated over 1,400 hours of events that our sailors and civilians were able to give back to the community,” Christenson said.

“I love to work with Bay County with the field days with all the elementary schools to my favorite thing, the Thanksgiving dinner where we feed over 250 single sailors that are not able to go home,” Simmons said as she described just some of the ways she gives back.

She says she’s normally working behind the scenes and being recognized for the work she’s done is a nice feeling.

“Something in me, it lights up whenever I’m helping somebody. I’m feeling grateful and really thankful that they actually thought of me to give an award,” Simmons said.

Simmons says its the women around her that have helped her become who she is.

“I work with Rebecca Watson but I have five other women supporting me and my mother, of course, I just wouldn’t be the person I am without a strong woman like her,” Simmons said.

Rebecca Watson & RP3 Onisha Simmons
Photo Courtesy: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clyde B. Laster

To see the full proclamation and more pictures from the event, click here.

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