Fourth Annual Harmony Walk demonstrates international unity
By Lachen Edwards
Despite the weather, the guest speaker and seven student organizations came out to show unity in the community Sept. 20, inside UNCP’s GPAC auditorium during the 4th annual Harmony Walk celebration.
The purpose of the program is to show collaboration, unity and commitment with our students and the greater community, according to Robert L. Canida II, director of the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs.
The Harmony Walk is usually held outside at the water feature; however, inclement weather forced the venue to be changed at the last minute. The last minute changes may have contributed to the small number of attendees this year, although it was successful, Canida said.
Marshall Pitts, former mayor of Fayetteville, addressed the crowd as the guest speaker. Currently Pitts practices law in Fayetteville.
There are three things an individual must do in order to be successful in today’s society, Pitts said:
• We must learn how to embrace each other’s culture
• We must learn how to get out of our comfort zones and socialize
• We must keep an open mind when working with one another.
Visiting Fulbright Professor Dr. Chisepo Mphaisha, from Cape Town, South Africa, also delivered a few words of hope explaining that we all have one thing in common, our hands.
All people have the same number of fingers, but they are different shapes and sizes.
They must work together in order to work in harmony with one another, said Dr. Mphaisha.
Dr. Mphaisha said a rainbow may vary in size or location but the order of the colors is the same each time showing respect for space thus creating harmony in every rainbow.
Student organizations paraded around the lobby and corridors of GPAC holding their banners high as the judges observed and took notes to decide the 4th annual Harmony Walk banner competition winners.
United Ministries won first place in this year’s banner competition.
Their banner featured a three dimensional light house and it read, “United Ministries Shining in Harmony.”
“The light house is what really caught the judge’s attention,” Canida said.
National Council of Negro Women took second place while on a mission to advance the opportunities and the quality of life for African American women, their families and their communities.
Third place was awarded to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national music fraternity of which Travis Stockley, UNCP musical theatre professor, was a member until his death in the fall of 2006.
Voices of Serenity Gospel Choir also attended and performed during the Harmony Walk celebration.
Other invited guests included Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Student Development Dr. Tom Corti and Ambassador for the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce Betsey Maynor.
They both greeted the crowd in support of the Harmony Walk with words of optimism for the future and shared stories of encouragement for everyday.