Students and staff at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS), Colonial Middle School (CMS) and Conshohocken Elementary School (CE) participated in Unity Walks on February 24. The events were held in recognition of Black History Month and in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of unity across all differences and walks of life.
This was the third consecutive year for the event at PWHS. After walking from the school and once around the track, the majority of the school’s students and staff gathered in the auditorium to hear from guest speaker Marcus Allen. Mr. Allen is the first African American CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters and winner of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO Award.
“It was a great turnout especially since it wasn’t mandatory,” said junior Treasure Greene. “Even when the students weren’t made to come, they still came in a united way. I was really happy to see that happen.”
At CE, the young students walked around the school’s outdoor play area before listening to inspiring words from Paul Noble, a member of the first class to move from Conshohocken High School to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in 1966.
At CMS’s first Unity Walk, students and staff were joined by Civil Rights Activist Nell Stokes, who, as a 16-year-old high school student, volunteered to help with the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. Later she fought against the organized effort to deny African Americans the right to vote.
Ms. Stokes’ message for the students was one of looking past personal strife and having a sunny outlook.
“To have a positive attitude and think of themselves as the most important person in their lives,” she said. “Be encouraged by the things they can accomplish and do for themselves. Know that everyone is different, and yet we are all the same and we want and need the same things.”
The initiative was led by the Black Cultural Awareness (BCA) clubs at PWHS and CMS.