By B. Candace Ray
RUNNERS, music-lovers, spectators and others will celebrate humanity this Sunday in a Baha'i-hosted morning footrace and afternoon concert in Victoria Park. Put your best difference forward -- not adversely, but diversely -- for "unity in diversity" is the theme of this Race Unity Day.
The second annual "Race for Unity" begins at 9 a.m. Two races, children's and adults', will run simultaneously, with each of several divisions vying for its own prizes -- plaques, theatre gift certificates, dinner vouchers, a trail ride and more -- and a finish capped by light refreshments.
Eight to 10-year olds and 10 to 12-year olds must register at 8 a.m. at the park for the 10-minute, 2K children's multi-cultural team run (teams of three boys or three girls whose chosen team name revolves around the theme of 'oneness'). Youths under 16, adults and seniors should also register at 8 a.m. for their 5K run. The race briefing is at 8:45.
The adult route loops from Victoria Park, around Bernard Park and the tennis stadium, along Canal and St. John's Roads, onto Serpentine Road and back to the park. The children's run cuts to the finish via Washington Street from Canal Road. Entry forms are available at The Athletic Club, The Olympic Club, most sporting goods stores, schools and at the park.
From 4 to 7 p.m. activites resume in Victoria Park with the seventh annual "Oneness of Humanity Concert". Bring a blanket or chair and a picnic dinner. Enjoy, appreciate and value the differences of person, music, song and tradition that run in the veins, somehow, somewhere in all of us -- black and white, young and old, Bermudian and non-Bermudian, families and individuals. Baha'i writings describe it: "As it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord."
So experience for yourself the rhythm & blues, reggae and soca of Legacy, the consciousness music of LeYoni & Phiemma (formerly SHE), and the frenzy of the Warwick Gombey Troupe. Feel the soul of youth and vibrancy in recording artists LoCAL and Jahstice, the purpose in the mostly Baha'i gospel group Lights of Guidance, the dedication of the Portuguese Dancers and the Youth Performers (individual young classical musicians playing different instruments). Children, especially, will delight in the interactive solo bagpipe of Bonnie Langille and the songs tailored to childhood by The Right Stuff.
Race Unity Day is a celebration of togetherness, good cheer, dignity and genuine respect. According to Darlene Symonds, secretary of the Race Unity Committee, it is a focusing more on the love that exists, rather than on getting caught up in the negatives. "There's no real distinction between us, apart from what we see as our distinctions," she said.
The day's events are symbolic of what Bermuda was trying to achieve when it created the Commission on Unity and Racial Equality. Kenneth Spurling, the chairman of CURE, has therefore been slated to make the concert's opening remarks.
So grab your diversity, your family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers, and bring them along to Race Unity Day, this Sunday at Victoria Park. Share in the fun and excitement of these free multi-cultural family-oriented events, beginning with the "Race for Unity" at 9 a.m. and continuing with the "Oneness of Humanity Concert" from 4 p.m.
©Copyright 1997, Bermuda Sun