Share Tweet Share Email

Unity March steps off for third year

September 1, 2016

15-Unity_Walk-1003-WD-275Members of the NIU and DeKalb communities are walking together for positive change for the third consecutive year.

The walk will leave from the MLK Commons, 6 p.m., Sept. 14. All are welcome to join organizations from across NIU and the DeKalb community who are sponsoring this event including: Black Student Union, City of DeKalb, DeKalb Police, NAACP NIU, NIU Police, NIU Student Association, New Hope Baptist Church, Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

“This march brings people together – all voices in solidarity and unity to show that we all want the same thing: peace and unity in all our groups,” said NIU Chief of Police Thomas R. Phillips.

Phillips said the march began three years ago after the events in Ferguson, Mo. Sensing tensions were high, Phillips, along with DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery, and New Hope Baptist Church Pastor Joseph Mitchell created the Unity March to bring the university and DeKalb communities together. In the second year, NIU senior leadership became involved, expanding the march.

Map of Unity Walk route

Map of Unity Walk route

This year the march will begin with brief remarks from NIU President Doug Baker and Provost Lisa Freeman, NAACP NIU President Amirius Clinton and DeKalb Mayor Rey. The walk will leave from MLK Commons and go up Normal Drive to Lucinda through Greenbriar and back to MLK Commons.

Immediately following the march at 7 p.m. everyone is encouraged to join a skill-building workshop on civil discourse at the Holmes Student Center, Regency Room. Phillips said one of the goals for the workshop is to discuss how to proceed with future Diversity Dialogues and determine what are the important conversations the community needs to have.

Clinton, a senior political science major, said he is hoping the march will be a sign of unity and relationship building among student organizations.

“I would like this to be a promising year for all students, and for African-American, White, Hispanic – all student leaders on campus — to get to know one another,” Clinton said.

Parking is free and open to the public in the parking garage and the visitor’s lot on Carroll Ave and. To request disability-related accommodations, please contact Kelly Wesener-Michael at 815-753-6100. Advance notice is appreciated.

For more information call 815-753-9400 or email [email protected].