Community joins together at sixth annual Unity Walk


President Lisa Freeman walks with the DeKalb community Tuesday at the Unity Walk.

By Ashley Dwy

Students of NIU, Kishwaukee College and the community of DeKalb attended the sixth annual Unity Walk 5 p.m. Tuesday in the MLK Commons.

The Unity Walk was inspired by the protests against police brutality following the 2014 killing of Michael Brown Jr. by police officer Darren Wilson, according to an Oct. 22, 2014, Northern Star article.

The route taken every year starts at the MLK Commons and circles north through Normal Drive and Greenbrier Road, finishing back at the commons.

“[The Unity Walk] shows unity between DeKalb and the university,” Mayor Jerry Smith said. “Northern and DeKalb are together. We are united. So, the more we can celebrate our diversities and celebrate the wonderful things we have done over the many, many years since 1895 together, we’re all the better for it.”

Students from both NIU and Kishwaukee College attended.

“Last year we [attended the Unity walk] with our [basketball] team,” Rashel Robinson, Kishwaukee College sophomore, said. “It just brings the community together and you get to meet a lot of new people along the way.”

The goal of the Unity Walk is for community members and students to get to know each other, Dean of Students Kelly Wesener-Michael said.

“The goal of this is to stand together, to walk with someone you don’t know and to get to know them a little bit better,” she said.

Christopher Lunatrujillo, student ambassador for Kishwaukee College, echoed the sentiment.

“I think we’ll get to learn a lot from each other in different ways,” he said. “We should tag along with another person that we don’t know at all, and just get to know them to see how their life is different, or similar, to our life.”