Second annual Unity Walk scheduled

2022 Unity Walk at Woodland Mall

Today is National Freedom Day, which commemorates President Lincoln’s signing of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Feb. 1, 1865, and  marks the beginning of Black History Month.

One of the many events scheduled to celebrate Black History in February is a Unity Walk to honor renown African American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

On Feb. 25, community members are invited to gather at the food court inside Woodland Mall, 3195 28th St. SE, at 11 a.m. The walk will end in front of retail store Von Maur at 11:30 a.m. A ceremony will immediately follow and feature welcoming remarks from Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to again host our Unity Walk to Honor MLK at Woodland Mall,” Kepley said. “It will be the start to a great day celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as other leading African American figures through New Hope Baptist Church’s Live Museum. We welcome community members of all ages to join us.” 

African American Live Museum

John Davis portraying Carter G Woodson – 2019 Live Museum at Woodland Mall

At 1 p.m., community members will be able to witness more than 25 live performances featuring notable African American figures. Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson will be among the legends appearing throughout the mall until 5 p.m.

A distinguishing factor of the Live Museum is how the performers, ranging in age from 10 to 66, bring their persona to life by adopting mannerisms of the legendary figures they are portraying while sharing facts and stories from their lives. Visitors will be able to watch and listen to the performances to learn about the figures and enjoy the realistic depictions. 

“The African American Live Museum is one of our outreach ministries with the intentionality of relationship building,” Dr. Cathy Large, drama ministry leader of New Hope Baptist Church said. “This is a great opportunity to help educate the community about the historic achievements of Black Americans and to share the wonderful talents of our performers.”  

Layla Brigham portraying Marsai Martin – 2019 Live Museum at Woodland Mall

The Live Museum was an annual event for many years at the mall until the pandemic. Mikia Ross, interim senior marketing director for Woodland Mall, said the mall is thrilled for its return, along with the continuation of the Unity Walk. 

“We are proud to partner with the City of Kentwood and New Hope Baptist Church to offer these impactful events,” Ross said. “Both will give our guests the opportunity to learn through personal connections and interactive experiences.” 

For more information about the Feb. 25 events visit the Woodland Mall website.

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