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I would like to take this opportunity to publicly share my condolences for the family of George Floyd.

As a mother of a 25-year-old Black son, and a mentor for many young teens and adults, I am often anxious about their movement and interactions in their community, for I don’t know the outcome. Not because of their behavior, but because of the world around them.

Unfortunately, we live in a society in which everyone is not necessarily kind to others. Although many of us have shared with our children the basic principles and values associated with love and kindness, we have not necessarily witnessed the fruit of our labor.

However, I still believe in the goodness of people and the importance of forgiveness. And I am proud to be a member of the West Volusia community!

Less than two weeks ago, I was asked by Oliver King, a concerned DeLand resident, a father of two and a friend, to assist in organizing a unity march in DeLand.

In the midst of a pandemic, people are still human, still grieving and still yearning for change, so I agreed.

The end result was heartwarming and helped me to remain hopeful.

After a grand appearance of up to 50 men on the steps of the Historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand, organized by Andre Darby, some traveled over to Chisholm Community Center to be a part of the first Juneteenth Unity March.

Almost 100 people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities came together in solidarity June 20 to celebrate, not only Juneteenth, but to further discuss ways to unite our community.

The march ended in Spring Hill in the parking lot of Spring Hill BBQ & Soul Food Lounge.

The program began with the history of Juneteenth presented by Oliver King. It consisted of messages of hope from Pastor Kevin Caine, Pastor Antione Ashley, Minister Conrad Reid and Pastor Mike Carroll.

The DeLand Police Department joined the march and Chief Jason Umberger and Capt. Prurince Dice shared the vision of 21st-century policing in our community.

Speaker Bo Davenport expressed the hope of bringing more businesses to Spring Hill, and the community becoming a recognized part of DeLand.

Although the Juneteenth celebrations have ended, there is still more work to be done as a united community.

I encourage you to: 1. Have an open and honest conversation with your family about what is going on in the world with your family; 2. Be transparent with yourself about your current feelings and implicit bias; and 3. Have conversations with your peers within the organizations you are a part of, and discuss solutions to end racism.

Join these efforts by emailing sistersbuild@primrosecameron.com. Let’s unite and build for the benefit of the generations to come.

— Dr. Cameron, of Orange City, is a motivational speaker, empowerment coach and facilitator. Find more information at www.primrosecameron.com.

Community recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Spring Hill community over the years was presented at the inaugural Juneteenth event to:
Javi Collier of Poppin
Grady Jackson Jr.
“The Beautiful” Althea Chavers of The Boys & Girls Club of DeLand
R.J. Simpson
DeLand Dawgs and TRUST
Felicia Benzo, CATALYST mentoring
Shilretha Dixon and the Spring Hill Resource Center
Sean King of Man Up Mentoring
Bo Davenport
Also, the business leaders from Spring Hill BBQ & Soul Food Lounge Inc. and the Gold Label Lounge, who were recognized for their hard work to preserve the Spring Hill community’s rich business history.

An outpouring of support for the Juneteenth Unity March came from the event sponsors, including:
• Joe Hearn Events
• Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co.
• Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co.
• Artisan Alley Farmers Market
• Scullery Kitchen Provisions by Blake Elliot
• Nest
• Beeatroot
• Knead Sole Reflexology
• Lace & Accessories
• BerryVille
• Mr. Bill’s Donuts & Sandwiches
• The Elusive Grape
• Byte a modern bistro
• The Table Restaurant
• Ms. Preppy Pants
• Woodland & Rich
• Pinup Parlor
• MainStreet DeLand Association
• Abbey
• Anita’s Furniture & Home Décor
• Bodhi+Sol
• Pretty Little Things
• De La Vega Wine, Tapas, Sangria
• Cress Restaurant
• Mitzi’s First Impressions Hair Salon
• Kinks, Coils and Waves
• The Trophy Factory Plus

 

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