Unity in the Community

The Dominion Dance Team performed Photos submitted by Regine Bell

Community members celebrated the theme of Unity in the Community Saturday, Feb. 19 by creating a space for African-Americans in the City of Natchitoches to talk about a diverse, equitable and inclusive community.  The Black History Program was at the Restorative Apostolic Ministries Church. Program Coordinator Regine Bell said, “This was a remarkable turnout. The Natchitoches Community can be a progressive community if we would all come together as one community. There are people here that want to make a difference and are ready for things to change. I look forward to working with these people.”  
The program was dedicated in memory of the late Pastor Carl L. Means Sr.  

This article appeared in the Feb. 24, 2022, print edition
Champion Awards were given to the following honorees: 
Spiritual Leadership Award- Apostle Babers and Pastor Babers, Dr. Altorio Holden and Dr. Linda King 
Civic Leadership-Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. and Police Chief Nikeo Collins 
Dedicated Services to the Natchitoches Community- Dr. Oghale Eleyae, Nicole S. Gray and Claire Prymus      
Golden Heart Awards – La’Tonia Mims and Ja’Lesia Mims 
National Community Advocate Norris Guillot shared his authentic experiences with the audience and advised not to repeat things done decades ago. He also encouraged everyone to reflect on the ideals passed on from previous generations and how they no longer work. He stressed that as a community, we can accomplish more if only we could reflect on the decisions that being made today and how they are shaping the future. The future of Natchitoches needs to embrace diverse cultures and obtain an inclusive mentality. 
Jane Rubunya-Petit, a mental health professional, brought to light how important it is to give children a safe space to talk about their feelings. She also provided information on national and local entities that provide counseling services. 
Entertainment was provided by the “Ministry of Mimes” led by Javonte’ Mims along with the Ministry of Dance led by Pastor Charity Wyatt.  
At the conclusion of the program, participants fellowshipped and rejoiced in the contributions of African American Community Champions in Natchitoches.