By Jordan Beach
On Sunday, Sept. 13, Reinhardt University joined the Cherokee County community to participate in the “Better Together March” to represent unity and solidarity in social issues.
The “Better Together March” brought together various members and organizations of the Cherokee County community. The event served to focus on the community standing together on issues related to race, socioeconomics and faith.
“Reinhardt University became a partner in the march as visible means to stand in support of unity and diversity in the greater Cherokee County community,” said Dr. Walter May, dean of students. “The march was a time to come together to address the issues that get in the way of us being a unified community and a chance to not just talk the talk, but to exercise our right to stand up and take action to support an environment of inclusivity within our campus community and for our community beyond the campus walls.”
Several Reinhardt student organizations participated in planning and running the march, including the Student Government Association, DREAMS and Aspiring Latinos Altering Society (ALAS).
President of ALAS and Chick-fil-A employee Jennifer Gomez enjoyed seeing her life as a student at Reinhardt and her workplace work together.
“I was thrilled to have the chance to come together with the people I work with but also the people I study with to share some kindness during these challenging times,” said Gomez.
Gomez felt the impact as she walked alongside several Cherokee County organizations uniting as a community to make a difference.
“Being able to stop some traffic while we marched Martin Luther King Boulevard was a sign that we are truly stronger together when we work towards a shared common goal. Seeing the Canton Police Department, Oak Leaf Curch, St. Paul AME Church, Chick-fil-A Canton and Reinhardt University work together and make the event possible was an amazing sight. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, but we sang, chanted and stood by each other—6 feet apart that is—as we walked a mile. We are a step closer to unifying our Cherokee County community, and moving forward, the key is to contribute, be kind and respect one another as we deserve,” said Gomez. “We are making history.”
May said the goal of the march was more than just coming together but showing a “unified front across the community.”
“Reinhardt was able to use our platform not only to raise awareness and continue momentum for the fight against racial injustice, but to begin connecting the campus community for future action,” said May.
The march allowed for Reinhardt students to see the needs of the community beyond campus and provided an opportunity to come together and take action.
“It’s important for students get involved with the community because they are members of the community. We want our students to understand that they do not live in a bubble while on campus, that societal issues need to be responded to and addressed and that they are key players in addressing these issues. We want to give our students the opportunity to be a part of something and make a difference. We wanted to focus on providing opportunities to come together, opportunities to educate and learn and opportunities to take action,” said May.