Tempe's Unity Walk celebrates diversity - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Tempe's Unity Walk celebrates diversity

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Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:00 pm | Updated: 9:31 am, Thu Feb 2, 2012.

Arizona is home to as diverse of a population as they come, and that fact can sometimes shed a negative spotlight on the state and the people who live here.

An upcoming event in Tempe hopes to celebrate that diversity between different groups all over Phoenix.

Sponsored by the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, as well as the town of Guadalupe and Arizona State University, the Unity Walk on Feb. 4 will host hundreds of residents and students with the goal of promoting better relationships between people and organizations.

Each group or city wears a different colored shirt and starts the walk together.

The approximately 1-mile walk will finish at Tempe Beach Park, where the event will continue with performances by local high schools.

All schools from the Tempe Union High School District, including Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista, have gotten involved and will send a group to the Unity Walk.

"We just have a lot of diverse kids - from Chandler, Mesa, south Phoenix - and we think it is really important to show we are in sync with the rest of the cities," said Bailee Richards, senior student body president at Mountain Pointe. "I know people think we are far away and we are so different, and sometimes there are stereotypes that go around."

It is free to take part in the walk, and participants need to be at the starting locations by 10 a.m.

Walkers from the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix and Scottsdale will meet at Tempe Lake Marina; and those from Tempe, Mesa and ASU will assemble at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy.

Each group will have a different colored shirt they will be given at the start of the walk.

By the end, Richards said the once autonomously-colored groups that they saw at the start of the walk will be spread out and blended together.

"I think the best part about it is when we all start walking and come together, and you can see all different colors everywhere," she said. "The walk in itself is symbolic."

To find out more, visit www.tempe.gov/diversity/regionalunitywalk.htm.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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