The Black Student Union Club Holds a Unity Walk Event

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The Black Student Union Club Holds a Unity Walk Event

BSU members walking for the Unity event

BSU members walking for the Unity event

BSU members walking for the Unity event

BSU members walking for the Unity event

Lydie Kodio, Writer

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The Black Student Union, (BSU), is a club on  Averett’s campus that gives African Americans a voice on campus while also granting other students an opportunity to understand the African-American culture.

On March 30, BSU hosted the Unity Walk event. According to BSU Founder and President Isaiah Howard, this was “a time where the Averett campus and the Danville community can come and stand in unity through all circumstances that has been going on within the world.” 

Partnering with the Rainbow Club, the Unity Walk was made to show that regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race or social class, it is important to stand united in difficult times.

Mr. Alonzo James, the mayor of Danville, and his family were present, as well as several faculty and students from Averett. This included Dean of Students Lesley Villarose, Assistant Dean of Students Jill Adams and her family, Tammy Jackson, the advisor of the BSU club, several members of the Student Engagement Team, BSU, and other clubs including Sister 4 Sister, Brother 4 Brother, the Rainbow Club, the poetry club, and Creatives Corner.

Participants of the walk united outside of the Averett University tennis courts to then walked up the hill towards the library to complete their journey in front of the main entrance to the cafeteria. 

“The walk was empowering and it meant a lot to me to see people from all different walks of life come together and walk in unity,” Jenique Martin, founder and president of P.R.O.O.F, said.

After the walk, students, Averett staff, and guests all went to the cafeteria to get some food and something to drink before the beginning of the second part of the Unity Walk program.

The second portion of the program was introduced with a welcoming speech delivered by Dean Villarose.

She acknowledged everyone that  supported the event, such as the CCECC center, Averett’s P.R.O.O.F club, Coach Adams, Mr. Jude Swanson, and the Rainbow Club.

After the welcoming speech, Jenique Martin took the stage to recite a poem and the program continued with the performance of African Dancers.

It was at the powerful sound of the drums that Mrs. Patricia, a professional dancer, educated the crowd on where the dance called “Lamba” came from.

Lamba is a traditional dance originally from all Mande countries in Africa (Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal). It is a dance that celebrate joyful events such as weddings.

She then taught an African song to the crowd before asking them to line up behind her and follow her dance moves. The crowd was initially very shy however, after a while everyone was dancing at the rhythm of the drums, dance battling each other, and enjoying the moment.

“The secret to this dance is that everyone’s gotta have fun,” Patricia said.

After the African dance, the program continued with a singing performance by Lydie Kodio, international student from Mali, studying at Averett University.

She sang a song of unity called “Ne Ka Ke Matigui Ta Ye” which in English means “I Give Myself Away.”

Following this performance, a very moving farewell speech was given by Howard and Josh Davis, president and vice president of BSU.

Both highlighted how honored they were to have served the club and they expressed how enthusiastic they were for the future new president and vice president to come since they will both be graduating in May.

Finally, after the farewell speech, the Unity Walk event ended with the distribution of recognition awards of the club’s five key concepts: Professionalism, Situational Problem Solving,  Educational Concept, Spirituality and Unity, while also celebrating community members.

Mrs. Tia, Mrs. Patricia, Mr. Mayo, Mr. Chad Martin, Saadyah Shamburger, Abigail King, Trysten, Chase Nixon and Andre Reid were the recipients of these awards.