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Unity in the Community activities celebrate the region’s many cultures

Children learning to draw Chinese letters in the community village at Unity in the Community 2016.

For the 23rd year, the Inland Northwest will join in Unity in the Community, the region’s largest multicultural celebration, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, in the Clocktower Meadow at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane.

The 2017 theme is, “Our Diversity Is Our Strength.”

A new activity will be a Unity Parade at 9 a.m. through downtown Spokane to demonstrate the region’s respect and support for, and honoring of diverse communities.

“It is designed to celebrate how similarities and differences make us a stronger and better community,” said co-chairs April Anderson and Mareesa Henderson.

Participants will focus messages on celebrating and sharing their cultures, identities or communities. 

Other highlights include free K to 8th grade school supplies, live entertainment, the Cultural Village, Education, Career and Health Fairs, Art Displays, and activities for toddlers to teens.

The Cultural Village showcases many cultures in the region, including those of American Indians, India, Burma, Bulgaria, Turkey, Persia, Tonga, The Federated States of Micronesia, South Africa, West Africa, Scandinavia, Germany, Hmong, Mexico, China and more.

That section will include a stage for performances and storytelling. Children entering the village are given a “passport” they take to each booth to be stamped to use to receive school supplies.

The Career and Education Fair offers employment and educational information.

The Health Fair has booths with information on traditional and alternative medicine approaches to health care with blood pressure testing, first aid, reiki healing, sound healing, hospice care, dental care and more.

The Youth Fair will include the Cultural Village treasure hunt, face painting, family friendly activities, and a section for families with little children to play with blocks, balls and bubbles.

There will also be booths with information on the area’s nonprofit organizations.

Unity in the Community was founded in 1994 by Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church under Pastor Lonnie Mitchell in Liberty Park to break down racial and cultural barriers.  In 2004, AHANA (African America, Hispanic and Native American Association) under Ben Cabildo took on responsibility for continuing Unity in the Community.  In 2007, it moved to Riverfront Park.  Unity in the Community is now an independent nonprofit coordinated by April and Mareesa.

For information, call 979-8267 or 599-6669, or email nwunity@icloud.com.





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