SGA holds Unity Walk amid DEI controversy

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Despite recent controversy surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs and events, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its DEI Week Unity Walk on TROY’s campus.

Historically, unity walks have been a way for people to come together to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and togetherness. That is why the Troy University SGA holds DEI Week and a Unity Walk every year.

“It’s just a very diverse campus that’s coming together to unify what is really important and to emphasize the importance of unity and what we’re here to do,” said student Jakevia Williams.

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SGA members said the walk brings people together.

“Our main goal is to promote conversation between students of all different backgrounds and walks of life,” said SGA member Brayden Varnado.

This year’s walk comes at a time where DEI programs are facing scrutiny. Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed SB129, also known as the “divisive concepts” bill. Once it goes into effect on Oct. 1, the bill will ban state funding of DEI programs in schools, public colleges and state agencies.

“I think it’s very important to still show that we care about others,” Varnado told TrojanVision. “We want to make sure that diversity, equity and inclusion is something that never gets left out of the conversation.”

Students like Williams say there are benefits to participating in DEI activities.

“You get to learn different things from different people. You get a different perspective on things. You get enlightened on different things that you never heard of, you never thought about.”

The Unity Walk wasn’t the only DEI Week event. The SGA also held a diversity handprints painting event and on-campus interview.