Auburn University’s Black Student Union, in collaboration with other organizations, hosted Unity Week on campus as part of its Black History Month celebrations.
Unity Week kicked off Monday with a partnership with Spectrum, Auburn’s gay-straight alliance, by selling cotton candy. Next to where their tables were set up were tables full of colorful yarn for the interactive display on the Green Space.
The Unity Project, as it is called, consisted of 32 poles sticking out of the ground in a circle, each with a different description that may relate to a participant’s identity. This includes identities such as college, race, nationality, sexuality, ability status and favorite interests, like watching T.V. or reading books.
Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to grab a piece of yarn and tie it to the pole in the middle first, which reads ‘I am a part of the Auburn Family,’ before tying it to the rest of the identifiers.
“You tie it back to the middle at the end … and this is how you connect to the rest of the students on campus,” said Davida Tubbs, director of one of BSU’s event committees.
The choice to host Unity Week in the middle of Black History Month is no accident. In the midst of the celebrations of black culture, BSU seeks to create a broader connection with other minority groups and the whole campus.
“It’s to reach out to other students on campus, who may also be in the minority, and say, ‘We might have our differences, but we are still united through Auburn,’” Tubbs said.
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The Unity Project is up all week on the Green Space, but it is not the only event planned for the week. Tuesday, BSU and the University Program Council presented the movie ‘Queen and Slim,’ which came out late last year.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, BSU and the International Student Organization are hosting a Cultural Show in the Student Center Ballroom.
The same day, BSU, in partnership with Active Minds at Auburn and Pups on the Plains, will present a Mental Health Day on the Green Space, with a free hug booth, adult coloring books and a chance to play with puppies and learn how to de-stress.
Although Friday marks the end of Unity Week, BSU has more festivities planned for Black History Month. This includes a civil rights march reenactment on the Haley Concourse on Monday, Feb. 24.
One of their biggest events, the Jazz and Poetry Night, will take place with a Roaring Twenties theme on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Student Center Ballroom. It will feature a jazz band and is a time for students to showcase their talents, such as spoken word, poetry and singing.
The purpose of Black History Month is not only a celebration, but also a method of outreach. BSU encourages the participation of any student who wishes to attend.
“Mostly black students come, yes,” said Trinity Thomas, BSU’s director of outreach. “But it also attracts other minorities and creates a sense of community.”
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