The Dispatch

Dancing, candy and palm trees, oh my!

Beach-themed No Place For Hate Parade is a sand-tastic celebration

Abbey Repka, Photo Essay Editor

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Student Leadership has put together the No Place For Hate Parade for four years now. The parade assists in uniting students to fight against bullying.

Starting in the fall of 2004, the Anti-Defamation League launched the campaign of ‘No Place For Hate’ in Austin schools. Then, Bowie students picked it up.

“Originally, it started because the student leaders wanted to do something where everyone could march together and just have some way to unify the campus,” Student Leadership teacher Vickie Benson said.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the initiative provides students and staff with resources to ensure their campuses are free of bias and celebrate diversity.

“Bowie is a No Place For Hate campus,” Benson said. “In order to continue to be a campus that participates in the program, we have to put on three events every year.”

After last year’s performance, the Multicultural Awareness Club’s dance team, the MCAC Dancers, were asked to perform at the finale of this year’s parade as well.

“Even though we didn’t have much time, we made sure to pull everything together for a bigger cause,” MCAC co-president Nyah Bernucho said.

According to Student Leadership student Alexa Robinson, bringing the parade to life required lots of hard work and time. Benson, alongside Student Leadership, dedicated many hours to making sure everything went right at the parade.

“There’s a lot of different pieces that come together to make it happen, so I guess it’s my job to figure out what all the pieces are and to make sure that there are people to do those pieces,” Benson said.

The MCAC celebrates diversity on campus by putting together dances for school events, including the Black History Month assembly and Bowie’s 30th Birthday celebration.

“We actually did a shortened version of the Black History Month performance due to a crunch on time, since making dances can be so difficult,” Bernucho said.

According to Benson, unity is a big focus that Student Leadership strives to achieve.

“No Place For Hate is basically a statement of not hating or holding any grudges or stereotypes against any group at all,” Benson said. “We all have a place; we all have meaning and value.  It’s really to encourage students and faculty to be more uplifting and positive with each other.”

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Dancing, candy and palm trees, oh my!