MSU athletes host Unity March

Stronger together!

In recent months there has been a rise in activism nationwide; Midwestern State University is no exception. On Sept. 30,  the MSU Football team and Athletics department held the Unity March that began in the D.L. Ligon Coliseum and ended in front of Ferguson Hall with guest speakers.

“I think [the unity march] was very important because too many times we unify just for our sport but after that, we disperse and nothing is really truly talked about of importance or the team value of my brother is hurting outside of the pads or outside of the court or the gym or wherever,” Solomon Orr, FCA campus coordinator, said. “To be able to do this, it really, truly puts importance on the unification of them outside of their fields and be able to say okay my brothers hurting I need to have his back, or I need to be able to listen to what he has to say or the pain that he feels about what is going on in his life and vice versa; you know those things are very important.” 

The Unity March was lead by the MSU athletes but open for all to join as it was meant to unite the school during times of uncertainty. 

“[Unity is] not a Black thing, not a white thing, not a Mexican thing but an MSU thing. We made sure that it wasn’t about just one race, we wanted to make sure that we unified as MSU. We wanted to be strong together, and I think that’s the biggest thing that we kept in mind about what we did the unity march, not the black march, not any of that march that pertains to just one race. We wanted to make sure this was unified together and most of us came out in maroon or gold or black to make sure this was about MSU being stronger together,” Orr said. 

This event was not about race but about the unity of all mustangs from any background. Students such as Titus Howar Jr., sports and leisure sophomore, who attended the march were able to see the unification that creates the mustang family.

“I think [the unity walk] is going to bring us closer together, to have all of the people out here of different diversities, different races. I think it was pretty big. I think it’s supposed to unify us, make us stronger together. If anything happens with the university or in the community, we can come together as one family. This was really big. This was a good step in the right direction for us.” Howard said. “We’re just trying to bring everyone together as one. There’s no difference. No matter what I look like, what you look like, whatever, women, men, it doesn’t matter. Nobody should be looked at differently, so that’s the thing we were trying to prove out here.”

The athletic department was able to bring students together with this march. The march had different meanings for each participant such as Anthony Tennision, sports and leisure junior, who saw the march as a way to stand up against the hostile climate of the world today.

“What we’re unifying for is just standing up for what’s going on in the world today. We know what’s going on in the world today, and we know that’s not the right thing. That’s not the right way that we should be living in this world, in this Godly world that we live in. [The march stood for] just unity and standing up for what we need and what’s right.” Tennision said.

The Unity March saw many students join together, but according to Marcus Jones, director of the Wesley Foundation of Wichita Falls and former interim director of MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, this march should not be the last. During his speech, he expressed his faith in the younger generation to create change but only if they use every day as an opportunity to come together.

“The reason why we have a unity march and unity time together is because there is something deep inside of everybody here that believes that we can change things. But I’ll be honest with you, if we don’t start taking every single day as an opportunity to get to know somebody new, learn something new about a different culture, if we don’t take every opportunity we get to make ourselves better in such a way that we don’t perpetuate some of these issues, then we won’t change anything,” Jones said. 

Jones encouraged those at the Unity March to continue in the fight for justice. The march was a step in the right direction according to Taylor Anderson, mass communication junior, but only the beginning.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is not something that can be accomplished overnight, I know that for sure, I knew that me speaking was not gonna instantly change inequality in our world. I think that the unity march was a step,” Anderson said. “It was definitely a step either that was small step to a bigger step, it was a big step to a smaller step it was some kind of step towards the right direction, and I think it was a door that we created, the athletic department created for us and for everyone else to show that we can walk and we can continue and we can begin our journey towards equality for our kids and for the next generations after that.”