Relaunch! Visit our new We Belong Here: Equity Walk
We Belong Here: Equity Walk, the educational and engaging walking activity offers residents a safe space for discussion and exploration of equity issues. The relaunch includes the following updates within the Equity Walk:
- Fresh new paint
- New term glossary
- Signage that includes QR codes and directions on how to use the QR codes
- Tell us about your experience by responding to the survey. Respondents will receive a free We Belong Here t-shirt.
How to visit:
- To view the map of each stations location, please click here.
- Each pin on the map represents an activity station. You can start or stop at any station. Visit the Equity Walk as often as you like.
- There are ten stations near the Takoma Park Community Center and seven stations on Anne Street near University Boulevard.
- Access We Belong Here via QR code on any smartphone device. QR markers are located on the ground and signage throughout the route. Walkers can click on any QR marker to pull up prompts for exploration and discussion.
- A print version is also available.
Our experience: Learn more about the Equity Walk from two city interns
As two new interns tasked with working on ways to improve the We Belong Here Equity Walk, we first began by reading up on the project. We knew that working on a project dedicated to creating safe spaces for individuals to learn and grow in regards to issues of inequality was necessary. Especially in current times and during Autism Awareness Month, we believed the project to be much needed to further educate ourselves, others, and future leaders of tomorrow on the importance of acceptance and celebrating differences. After all, education is the foundation of change. With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to go out into the community and take part in the activities of the project and experience it for ourselves.
Once we arrived at the Takoma Park Community Center, one of the locations of the We Belong Here Equity Walk project, we noticed QR codes on the ground next to the painted sidewalk station. We took out our phones, scanned the code with our cameras, and there it was! An interactive webpage with descriptions of each painted station and discussion questions for after the activity was completed in English, Spanish, and Amharic!
The painted sidewalks suddenly became alive! We jumped and popped bubbles to break stereotypes, leaped over logs to overcome fears of taking risks and standing out, and more. We asked ourselves questions like: “What makes me feel unique?”; “What makes you want to speak out?”; “What is an assumption?”. Such simple questions demanded a level of self reflection that pushed us to break down our walls. It highlighted what we value the most and how, despite being four people of different ages, abilities, and racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, we share similar perspectives.
We felt that with each station, although we did not have to complete them all, the discussions we had on race, equity, self worth, and more kept naturally flowing. These tough and necessary conversations must be had, and it is never too early or too late for them. The Equity Walk offered us a safe and active space to reflect on our lives and mentally reaffirm what we value the most in ourselves, in others, and in life. We are all united in our uniqueness. We are all valued because of our differences. For those reasons, and much more, we should work daily to remind ourselves that we do belong. We invite you to do the same, to step out of your comfort zone in this safe accepting environment, and to engage in these discussions with yourself, family, friends, quarantine groups, and loved ones.
-Two City Interns
For more information on how to visit We Belong Here: Equity Walk please click here