In 2004, with the urging from Pastor Mitchell of Bethel AME Church (UIC’s founding father), AHANA agreed and took on the responsibility and the liability of running UIC and to continue its mission.
What is Unity in the Community?
Pastor Mitchell, one of the founding members says it best: “In 1995, during the time we were planning for the church year, several of us sensed that there was a lot of fragmentation in the Spokane community. There was more ethnic diversity here than people knew about but people weren't coming together. These racial and cultural barriers seemed to hinder growth and development in Spokane. We felt it was very important for people to know the strength of diversity in Spokane and for people of different cultures and races to understand each other. So the Unity in the Community celebration at Liberty Park was born.”
In 2006, due to the influx of people attending UIC, the logistics of increasing attendance and vendors posed a major safety problem and liability with regards to the size of the park. The UIC event was also faced with wheel chair accessibility concerns. Unity in the Community was never intended to be restrictive on any level, it was designed by its pioneers to focus on outreach, education and growth.
In 2007, the organizing committee posed the question of changing location to address 2006’s accommodation, safety and liability issues. The committee came to the conclusion that Riverfront Park being a regionally recognized park, the park is wheel chair accessible and would effectively accommodate growth, they voted and moved to have the 2007 UIC at the Riverfront Park seeing it as positive transition and pivotal in growing with Spokane ever increasing diverse populations and demand for resources.
Even with the unanimous vote for the Riverfront Park, the committee tabled the decision till the next meeting to get more input from community members, and from those who were involved in organizing UIC. At that time, there were concerns, but were addressed adequately. The committee is united around UIC mission and the pioneers’ vision.
2007 was a breakout year for Unity. UIC’s growth and change of location change will alleviate over crowding presenting safety and liability issues, will provide increased accessibility for citizen with disabilities, the reduce need for crowd management control, a reduction in traffic congestion, increased user friendly parking facilities allowing the event to prosper for all communities. UIC has become an eagerly anticipated signature multicultural event for our entire region within the Inland Northwest. Therefore we welcome all community leaders, organizers and businesses to join us. Be part of UIC decision-making processes to shape our community direction for a prosperous present and abundant multicultural future.
Unity is a statement that represents “we are all in this together.” We as a community should never strive to restrict our resources, create boundaries by neighborhoods or engage in actions that do not strengthen partnership or collaboration among diverse communities where possible.
Community-Minded Enterprises now serves as the hosting agency of Unity in the Community. Click the logo below to learn more about Community-Minded Enterprises and its contribution to Unity in the Community and the greater Spokane community.