The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

March/April 2006

Work In Progress


The Minority Affairs Committee now consists of the following members: Connie Steers, Gumersindo Gomez, Tom Meinhardt, Jorge Pedroza, Virgie Hibbler, Marshall Mudge, Larry Frazee, Joe Jennings, Special AVVA Adviser Anne Pancrazio, VVA Special Adviser Francisco Ivarra, Staff Adviser Joe Wynn, and myself.

The members have been working really hard on several projects. One is the Minority Affairs Committee National Diversity Award. This award will be presented at the Tucson Leadership Conference. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual, business, or organization in the promotion of diversity within the veterans’ community. Award criteria and the nominations process are described below. The deadline for submitting nominations is June 1. Please submit early.

Another project is the committee’s Leadership Conference seminar, “Minority Veteran Leadership In Action.” Committee members will be the presenters.

A third project is the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Roundtable in Los Angeles held on March 17 and sponsored by VVA. It focused on providing information about VA services to all AAPI veterans who served in the U.S. armed forces. It is the first time that a national veterans service organization has done outreach to the entire AAPI population in Los Angeles. The committee worked in support of the VA Center for Minority Veterans on the roundtable.

The Minority Affairs Information and Membership Brochure is being revised and will be available to you shortly. You also soon will be able to access a Minority Affairs Committee link at

The committee congratulates the family of PFC Ralph H. Johnson, in whose honor a road recently was dedicated in Charleston, S.C. Johnson was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for action with the 1st Recon Bn. of the 1st Mar. Div. on March 5, 1968.

PFC John J. Chubb was buried in Inglewood, Calif., on February 18. His remains had been returned a few days earlier from Honolulu’s JPAC under Army escort where they had been identified last June. Chubb and his Huey crew mates were killed on March 20, 1971, while transporting troops in Savannakhet Province, Laos. He was with B Co., 101st Avn./101st Airborne Div.

Minority Affairs Committee Diversity Award:
Nominations, Applications, Criteria

Diversity is an integral part of our society and military experience. VVA's Minority Veterans Committee encourages the entire veteran's community to appreciate and experience diversity within Vietnam Veterans of America. In support of the overall VVA diversity initiative, the Committee has established an annual Diversity Award given at the National Conventions and the Leadership Conferences.

VVA's Minority Affairs Committee Diversity Award recognizes outstanding achievements by an individual, business, or organization in the promotion of diversity within the veterans' community. The award represents efforts and achievements that develop a culture and environment in which diversity is valued.

All nominees must have made a significant contribution to the advancement of diversity and to VVA's mission statement. Contributions may include, but are not limited to, initiatives and programs that advance harmony and respect, and improve social justice, human rights, and cultural awareness.

Nomination Information

  1. Nomination statements should not exceed two typed pages.

  2. All team, group, or organizations' nominations should include a list of all members.

  3. Individual nominations should include a current vitae or resume that outlines their minority veteran involvement, participation, and accomplishments related to diversity.

  4. All nominations should be submitted to the Chair of the Minority Affairs Diversity Award Committee by June 1.

  5. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

Application Process

  1. Attach no more than two doubled-spaced typed pages explaining the efforts you have made to promote diversity in the veterans' community in accordance with the award committee's criteria.

  2. Submit the typed information and a photo (individual or group) by June 1. Include no more than three supporting documents such as media clippings, testimonies, and excerpts from printed materials.

  3. Submit applications to: Francisco F. Ivarra, 109 N. 122nd St., Seattle, WA 98133. The VVA Minority Affairs Award Committee reserves the right to verify any information submitted.

Award Criteria

Submitted documentation will be assessed by the following standards:

  1. Cultivating relationships with veterans of different racial, ethnic, religious, gender, cultural, and socio-economic status.

  2. Self-examination of institutional philosophies and initiatives or individual attitudes and behaviors to become more aligned with principles of diversity and inclusion.

  3. Taking a positive stand for equality and empowerment within the veterans' community; initiating corrective action to eliminate discriminatory policies and practices; and evidence of support for efforts to encourage inclusion and promote diversity.

  4. Learning about the importance of diversity and inclusion and teaching about educational programs that promote inclusion and appreciation of diversity.

  5. Actively promoting diversity and improving cultural competency within VVA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the political and media arenas.


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