Unity Park offers opportunity to honor civil rights leaders




This week, the Unity Park Advisory Committee started the nomination process for 2019 honorees, the second year the committee has asked the public for help in identifying community members whose contributions have served to unite citizens and bridge the cultural, racial and economic divides that so often undermine the progress of communities. 


Those eligible for the honor, which will include a plaque in the city's downtown Unity Park, must have lived in Oktibbeha County where they made a significant contribution to civil rights. It is a posthumous award, reserved for those who have been deceased for at least five years. That qualification helps ensure that the contributions of those who have passed on are not forgotten. 


The committee plans to select one or two new honorees based on the public nominations. 


Last years, Rosa Stewart and Sadye Weir were the first to be honored as the result of public nominations. In addition to the 2018 honorees, the park features plaques honoring Dr. Douglas L. Connor, Martin Luther King Jr., former state Gov. William Winter, Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers and the Mississippi State University Men's Basketball "Game of Change" against the University of Loyola-Chicago. 


More information about Unity Park and its nomination guidelines are available at www.starkvilleunitypark.com. 


We believe there is real value in Unity Park. It stands as a reminder of what can be achieved by citizens of all walks of life toward making their community a better, more unified place. 


When we turn our attention to those people who have performed so important a service, it re-orients our attitudes toward the good in our community. 


That's no small matter.



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