Flag Day parade to spread awareness of diversity


Image: provided by Jazmine Buckley

Jazmine Buckley, organizer of the Flag Day Parade wants to bring an awareness to different cultures on campus with the event.

Blossom Onunekwu, Staff Writer

One Mercer University student has introduced a new event to campus — one that she said she hopes will spread awareness of the diverse cultural background of students.

Sophomore Jazmine Buckley organized the Flag Day parade, scheduled for Nov. 17 on Cruz Plaza.

I decided to do this because I think it’s really important to highlight the diversity on Mercer’s campus,” Buckley, a political science and French major, said.

Buckley is organizing the Flag Day parade, but she said the idea for such cultural recognition originally came from a member of International Bears Association who wanted more multi-cultural representation.

As a correspondent for SGA’s Campus Engagement Committee, Buckley decided to turn this dream into a reality and advocate for the parade.

But, “The details aren’t all ironed out just yet,” Buckley said.

Flag Day proposes a festive atmosphere with holiday-inspired treats, indigenous music from several countries, and a potpourri of flags waved by the multicultural student body of Mercer University.

People should participate because it’s a great way to support our international classmates as well as embrace all of our different backgrounds,” Buckley said.

People should participate because it’s a great way to support our international classmates as well as embrace all of our different backgrounds.”

— Jazmine Buckley

African Student Association (ASA) member Faith Etim intends to represent Nigeria in the upcoming event.

The first year global health major expressed her zeal for learning about other cultures and said that it’s a shame how “we often forget, or are not conscious of, the breadth of cultures that Mercer has to offer.”

“Mercer tends to idealize global community without actually engaging with them [on campus],” Etim said.

She pointed out Mercer on Mission as an existing opportunity for Mercer to expand their cultural insights.

“Mercer on Mission is a great program, but it is also important to remember that we have students right here on campus with so much to offer,” she said.

“Hopefully Flag Day will bring greater awareness. I’m expecting to learn a lot,” Etim said.

Bridget Boyd, who is majoring in civil engineering, said that she is interested in the Flag Day parade.

Coming from a Trinidadian background, the sophomore said she holds her heritage close to her.

“Trinidad is comprised of age-old cultures with traditional practices. We have carnivals with many colors and costumes. The steel pan originated in Trinidad.” Boyd said.

She mentioned how being from Trinidad encourages her to work hard and follow suit of her mom and grandfather. Both worked the nightshift to move from the limited resources of Trinidad to the United States in an effort to better the lives and education of their future family.

In fact, her grandfather, who slept most nights on cold floors, was one day promoted to being principal of the school he taught in Trinidad, she said. He earned so much recognition for his hard work that when he left his school for another, parents followed and enrolled their kids into that school.

Boyd said she is anxious to represent the cultural background that helped her become a Mercer Bear and learn about others doing the same at the event.

“I’m excited to hold our flags and sing our national anthems,” she said.

For more information on Flag Day, contact Jazmine Buckley at [email protected]