2019 Unity Walk with watermark

Unity Walk

All events taking place September 2, 2020

Throughout the 1990’s, a coalition of UC students, faculty, and staff walked in the streets of Utica in a demonstration of unity against those people and institutions determined to sow division. With a strength of solidarity and conviction, they spoke up for equality, justice, and change. 

In 2016, Utica College instituted the Walk A Mile For Unity, or Unity Walk, as an annual academic year-opening tradition celebrating the College’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  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. This year, in this watershed moment for social justice in America, the Walk A Mile For Unity carries an even greater purpose and urgency.    

With a series of events throughout the day, Utica College students, faculty, staff, and administrators come together to affirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We will walk to reject all forms of hate and dehumanization. We will walk for all lives lost or forever altered at the hands of racism.  We will walk to affirm our responsibility to creating and sustaining an environment that values individuals regardless of identity. We will walk to hold feet to the fire for the promise of change.

Moments of Thought and Reflection - 8:46 a.m. EST

At 8:46 am there will be a Utica College virtual and campus wide period of reflection to recognize the pain and suffering George Floyd experienced.

Call to Walk a Mile for Unity - 12:30 p.m. EST

Join President Laura Casamento and representatives from the Utica College community as they invite us to Walk A Mile For Unity and reflect on what this Walk means for all of us at this time – as individuals, as a College community, and members of our broader local and national communities.  Remarks will be broadcast live on UC’s social media channels at 12:30 p.m. and rebroadcast at 3:15 p.m.

Walk a Mile for Unity - 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. EST

This year's Unity Walk will take place between 1:00 - 7:00 pm following the 12:30 p.m. virtual kick off and invitation to walk from President Laura Casamento and UC community members. 

At your convenience during this time, groups of 8 or less are encouraged to partake by meeting at Duffy Plaza where you will find Unity Walk volunteers directing groups accordingly, based on social distancing guidelines found in NYSDOH mandates. Masks are mandatory for all participants and groups of 8 or less will be enforced. 

The last walkers will be sent out at 6:20 p.m.

Walk-ins on the day of the event will be permitted but registration is strongly encouraged.

Register Now

The walk will end in a tent outside of Strebel Student Center where walkers are invited to sign the Pledge for Unity and create their own individual pledge for the year, while following the social distancing guidelines found in NYSDOH mandates. Masks are mandatory for all.

Walking in Solidarity Off-Campus 

No matter where you are on the afternoon of September 2, we encourage you to join us in the Walk A Mile For Unity.  If you cannot join us on campus during the afternoon, we invite you to walk a mile on your own or with others.  Walk when you can and wherever you are between 8:46 a.m. and 8:46 p.m., take pictures of your walk and post them on social media using the hashtag #UCommUNITY

Group Processing Session - 7:00 p.m. EST

The Counseling Center will be offering a group session open to all students, faculty and staff to further process thoughts and emotions related to the various events throughout the day.  To join the group, use this Zoom link:

Group Processing Session

Virtual Speak Out - 8:00 p.m. EST

At 8:00 p.m., please join Dr. Anthony Baird, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and members of the UC Community at a virtual speak-out including Voices from the Village, Alumni Voices, and Closing Remarks.  This speak-out will be broadcast as a Facebook Live event on UC’s Facebook page:

Utica College Facebook Page

The Counseling Center will be offering open virtual sessions throughout the day to any student who may need a safe space to debrief or express their emotional response to the events of the day. A same day appointment can be requested by emailing the Counseling Center at counseling@utica.edu or by calling 315-792-3094. All appointments are confidential. 

For faculty or staff looking for support or for an opportunity to debrief from the events of the day please contact EAP by phone at 1-800-327-2255, or on the company website at  www.nexgeneap.com. Use Company ID: 9000.

For more information, please contact Alane Varga at avarga@utica.edu or Joanne Pluff at jrpluff@utica.edu.

Unity Walk 2020 Community Member Involvement

  • Laura Casamento, President
  • Mercedes Steele, Class of 2021
  • Lisa Green, Vice President for Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
  • Adam Pack, Faculty member/AAUP-UC president
  • Solade Rowe, Trustee, Class of ‘94
  • Alane Varga, Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Joanne Pluff, Associate Director of Admissions
  • Peter Gaughan, Class of 2021/Student Government Association President

UC banner

  • Laura Casamento, President
  • Chelsea Augustine, Class of 2023

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  • Kwasi Addo-Baffour, Class of 2021
  • JaQuay (Jiggy) Gibbs, Class of 2021

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  • Annjulie Martinez, Class of 2021
  • Sade Cardin, Counseling

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  • Mary Hayes Gordon, YSLPP
  • Todd Pfannestiel, Provost

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  • Ahmed Radwan, Dean of Health Professions and Education
  • Scott Nonemaker, Executive Director of Student Living and College Engagement

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  • Anthony Baird, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer
  • Ellen Smith, Faculty
  • Doug Croft, Faculty/Director of WPNR
  • Joanne Pluff – moderator
  • Mary Hayes Gordon – Young Scholars Liberty Partnership Program
  • Abigail Rumney – Class of 2022
  • Shayla Pominville – Class of 2024
  • James Smith - Faculty/ Faculty Senate president
  • Bobby Washington – Class of 2021
  • Jaydy Hernandez- Class of 2023
  • Marta Franze - ABSN faculty, St. Petersburg
  • Wilfredo Alvarez - Faculty
  • Daryl Savage – Class of 2022
  • Joe Quinn – Class of 2021
  • Kellany Cadogan-Noland - ABSN faculty, Miramar 
  • Cara Patterson – Class of 2022
  • George Nehme – Vice President for Advancement
  • Alane Varga – Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Mark Kovacs, moderator
  • Andrew Steiner,’92 
  • Kim Wilkins, ‘89
  • Henry Spring, ‘77
  • Anthony Baird, moderator
  • Paul Lehmann, UC chaplain
  • Karen Ferrer-Muniz, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment
  • Gene Quadraro, Trustee
  • Clemmie Harris, Faculty/Director of Africana Studies

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