Walk As One

by Andrew Goodell

The Walk As One fund-raiser last Sunday helped students fightracism while improving their understanding of people outside theirculture.

“I think that they are gaining awareness of other cultures,”said Carolyn Dallinger, assistant professor of social work andcriminal justice.

The National Conference for Community and Justice is responsiblefor encouraging Simpson students to combat racism through Walk AsOne because they are the creators of the fund-raiser. The NCCJ hasbeen working against racism since 1927, when it was known as TheNational Conference of Christians and Jews.

By becoming involved in Walk As One, freshmen made themselves anactive part of NCCJ’s plan to improve the relationships betweenAmerica’s diverse cultures.

“It’s a way they can look at sociological principles in action,”said Dallinger.

Walk As One is one of the NCCJ’s most successful programs. Likemany other fund-raisers involving public walks, participants asktheir friends, co-workers and relatives to sponsor them. Walk AsOne also receives corporate sponsorship from various companiesincluding local pharmacies and media outlets.

All of the money raised by Walk As One goes to local programsthat promote the idea of more inclusive communities in Iowa. Theprograms include everything from one that encourages children inthe fourth through ninth grades to write essays that challengebigotry, to another that allows a child to attend the Anytown HumanRelations Leadership Institute.

Since Walk As One encourages intercultural socialization as ameans of improving American life, it only makes sense thatDallinger’s Introduction to Sociology class participated in thewalk as a part of their curriculum.

“Culture is a big issue in sociology and that is what we’ve beentalking about in my class,” said Dallinger.

Dallinger’s class will do a service project intended to givethem a better understanding of what it is like to immigrate toAmerica.

For this project, Dallinger’s students will become mentors tochildren attending Adams Elementary in Des Moines. The student bodythere speaks a mixture of 15 different languages. This means thatthe students in Dallinger’s class will have an opportunity tosocialize with a person from a different culture who’s firstlanguage is not English.

This mentoring will build on the appreciation of diversityDallinger’s students gained at Walk As One.