In celebration of Black History Month, Northern Oklahoma College hosted Jonathan Waddell in Enid Thursday.
Waddell spoke on the Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity; Exploring the African Diaspora and the Spread of Black Families Across the United States.
Waddell spoke of his own family and how they influenced his life.
“My mother was an educator and my father worked in law enforcement,” he said. “They were both originally from the south (father from Arkansas, his mother from Mississippi) but they both moved north for better opportunities. They both settled in Tacoma and the rest is history. They were looking for a better life.”
Waddell said his message is about creating family in the community.
“My message is to take care of each other,” he said. “A person doesn’t have to be a member of your family for you to take care of them. Our communities will be better if we take care of each other like we are part of the same family. And we are part of the same family, God’s family.”
For a homework assignment, Waddell encouraged everyone find someone in their community they can look after to make them feel a part of a family.
“We can do it,” he said. “Although the world may seem more divided, we just have to look out for each other.”
After school, he joined the military and traveled throughout the world. In 2013, Waddell settled in Enid after spending 15 years in the United States Air Force as a Heavy Equipment Operator, Meteorological and Navigational Systems Supervisor, Project Manager, Training Manager and Airfield Systems Supervisor.
Commissioner Waddell has been on the Enid City Council four years and has served on and chaired multiple boards and committees.
He currently sits on the Community Block Grant Committee, Enid Regional Development Authority Board, the Project Sub Committee and Enid Communications Board.
Commissioner Waddell is a proud husband and father of four and is currently Chief Contracting Office Representative for Information Technology at Vance Air Force Base where he works to ensure quality assurance and consistent contractor performance for all things IT on the base.
He was introduced by NOC Enid instructor Mary Ann McCoy. She is chairman of the NOC Diversity Committee.
He spoke via Zoom to all three NOC campuses.