This past Saturday, Greensboro celebrated its annual Unity Walk and Festival, which looked a little different during the pandemic. The event is organized by nonprofits, community groups and volunteers to support and welcome refugees and immigrants in the area.

Each year has a different theme and this year the event focused on giving a warm welcome to new Afghan refugees and Latino immigrants arriving in Guilford County, and advocating for solidarity on their behalf.

Crystal Zellous with the North Carolina African Services Coalition says the celebration was pared down this year, due to COVID-19.

The event is usually a walk and festival but became a community drive in solidarity. However, this didn't stop people from attending and the six community organizations from bringing a series of speakers and artists to address, honor and give opportunities to the newcomers.

Poets and speakers from the community highlighted the hurdles refugees face, asking for support, and urging the immigrant and refugee community to not lose hope.

Zellous closed the ceremony by asking the community to come together and to welcome anyone who wants a better life in Guilford County. 

This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.

Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.

Periodista de La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022

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