The 2023 Unity Walk is on October 25, 2023
In 2016, Utica University instituted the Walk A Mile For Unity, or Unity Walk, as an annual tradition celebrating the University’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
During this event, the entire University body comes together, holding posters and signs signaling their causes and what inclusion means to them, and marches together around the Utica campus in a symbol of unity. This event highlights our common goal of creating a welcoming experience and shows that we are stronger together as Pioneers.
Through this event, we acknowledge in a very public way our belief that diverse experiences and points of view help create a vibrant educational community and that there is power in coming together in a spirit of unity.
Unity Walk 2023: Spreading Kindness
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Location: Duffy Plaza to Strebel Student Center
The 2023 Unity Walk will take place on Wednesday, October 25 with the theme of Spreading Kindness. Check back for more updates, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can get involved in the planning process!
New This Year: Decorate your door! We're calling on all University community members to decorate their doors and spaces with ways they choose kindness! Share tips on being kind, describe what inclusion looks like to you, or just show off your authentic self! Send your decoration photos to email@example.com or tag us on Instagram, @utica_diversity.
The first Unity Walk was held on campus as an expression of racial unity by Utica University students but took on deeper meaning after there were a series of racist incidents on campus, at other local colleges, and in the Utica community that drew attention to the divisions that still existed among members of our community based on race and ethnicity.
In 1990, our Black Student Union spearheaded the Unity March with the intention of bringing together members of the community to proactively address these concerns. Members of local colleges, including Mohawk Valley Community College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (then SUNY Institute of Technology), Hamilton College, Colgate University, and SUNY Morrisville, participated as well. Participants marched in the streets of Utica from Oneida Square to City Hall, where they spoke out against racism, discrimination, and injustice.
By 1992, the focus of the march broadened and co-sponsors included not only student organizations such as the BSU and the Latin American Student Union but newly formed groups such as the Women’s Resource Center and the Gay and Lesbian Student Alliance (now known as the Gender Sexuality Alliance). Poster contests, candlelight vigils, guest speakers, and presentations were also incorporated into the event. The route also changed over the years, sometimes ending at community staples such as Plymouth Bethesda Church and Pratt Institute.
Unity Marches became a powerful expression of the belief in the gifts diversity brings to our campus and our communities, but also affirmed the need to talk with and understand one another in order to better support each other.
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