N.C. Wesleyan College is set to hold its second annual commUNITY walk.
The walk will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, and it will begin with a short program in Minges Auditorium in Wesleyan’s Dunn Center.
Last year, the college hosted its first such event on Nov. 2. Then, close to 400 athletes, students and staff members participated in the walk. Every athletic team at the college was in attendance, and many participants wore black T-shirts with white lettering that read ‘CommUNITY2020.’
Everyone began the event spaced out along Tyler Drive and, after watching a 5-minute video that included words from athletes, coaches and others, they made one lap around the drive.
Men’s basketball coach John Thompson was the originator of the event, which had started out as a smaller idea that included a short walk and speech. As the idea began gaining steam, it expanded to latch onto other sports. Soon the whole school became involved.
“It was George Floyd and the aftermath of George Floyd all over the country. And it was all the subsequent events all over. It’s all of that,” Thompson told the Telegram in 2020. “Maybe the ripple effect from us doing something like this can be carried out into the city and there’s a positive impact of unification. … There’s strength in unity and this is what it’s all about.”
This year, the program will be live in Minges Auditorium followed by the walk through the center of campus. At the conclusion of the walk, participants will receive a wristband with a reminder to put the emphasis on unity.
NCWC President Dr. Evan Duff, Director of Teacher Education and Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion Programming Dr. Kelvin Spragley, and Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson are expected to be part of the program.