Annual Bobcat Unity Walk Celebrates Diversity

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ATHENS, Ohio — Celebration, solidarity and pride were the themes of the third-annual Ohio University Bobcat Unity Walk on Monday evening.

Dozens of students, faculty, and community members gathered to promote unity even with growing diversity at the walk sponsored by the International Student Union.

The walk, beginning at Baker Center and ending at Walter Hall, was followed by a reception which included speakers from the ISU.

delfin bautista, Director of Ohio University’s LGBT Center, said Unity Walk brought an overlap between unity and pride.

“Looking at the theme of unity through diversity … those narratives, those stories, those experiences are part of it so it all sort of came together in very powerful ways,” they said.

bautista also said The Unity Walk was an opportunity to celebrate what makes us different from each other.

Jay Edwards, state representative for the 94th District of the House of Representatives, said the county lacks diversity beyond the influence of the university.

“This gets us to learn and educate and it’s something we should know about in Athens, and OU is a big part of that,” he said.

The Unity Walk coincided with Ohio University’s Pride Week. Pride Week is organized by the LBGTQA Commission of Student Senate.

The Student Senate worked with the LGBT Center to arrange several events throughout the week. At the end of the week, a queer-studies’ conference will allow people to share scholarship and research.

Pride Week and the Unity Walk also follow a White House policy announcement banning most transgender people from serving in the military.

“We need to remind ourselves that we need to be proud and we need to celebrate our accomplishments and celebrate who we are as a community,” bautista said.