July 7, 2017 – Spokane, WA – Unity in the Community, in partnership with STCU, is sponsoring its first Unity Parade to be held on August 19, 2017 starting at 9:00 at the corner of Stevens and Spokane Falls Boulevard. UIC is proud to announce the following individuals as Grand Marshals.

Pastor Lonnie Mitchell
Bethel AME Church
Founder of Unity in the Community

Ben Cabildo
Long-time leader of Unity in the Community and community organizer

Pastor Lonnie Mitchell and Mr. Ben Cabildo are long-time community organizers who have had an incredible impact on the cultural richness of Spokane. Their work has been invaluable as Spokane has grown and diversified as a city.

Pastor Lonnie Mitchell founded UIC at Bethel AME Church in 1994. Under his leadership, UIC moved forward with a mission to break down racial and cultural barriers that seemed to hinder development in Spokane. As he so astutely put, “We felt it was very important for people to know the strength of diversity in Spokane and for people of different cultures to know the strength of diversity in Spokane and for people of different cultures and races to understand each other.” It was from that belief the the UIC festival at Liberty Park was born and as it outgrew its original location, it moved to its current location of Riverfront Park.

Mr. Ben Cabildo came to the leadership of Unity in Community in 2004 when, at Pastor Mitchell’s urging, AHANA (African American, Hispanic, and Native American Association), agreed to take on the responsibility of organizing the event and to continue UIC’s mission. It was under Mr. Cabildo’s capable leadership and a cadre of long-term committed volunteers that UIC was able to grow even further, expanding the festival to celebrate the diversity of our community and build a healthy and thriving future for all in our region.

In 2014 with Pastor Mitchell’s blessing; Ben Cabildo passed on the torch to April Anderson and Mareesa Henderson to continue the mission of Unity in the Community.
Unity in the Community’s mission is 1)Promote Unity through showcasing diversity; 2) Build and grow UIC through community education and awareness inclusive to all communities throughout the region to include the business community; 3) Exist and sustain as a vital, viable community resource for youth, adults and families for the betterment of Northwest diverse communities.

For more information about Unity in the Community or this press release, please email nwunity@icloud.com or visit our website at https://www.nwunity.org/.