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`Chalk the Walk for Inclusion' Aug. 23 to Offer Returning Students Positive Messages Across Campus

Chalk the Walk for InclusionFerris State University will host a “Chalk the Walk for Inclusion” activity on Thursday, Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the North Quad. The event will focus on sidewalk-chalking messages of kindness and acceptance to greet students as they begin returning to campus to start the Fall 2018 semester.

Organizer Maggie Walcott said that the 2017 Charlottesville incident spurred her to reach out to the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services, to see if they would welcome another sidewalk chalk activity offered in concert with its messages of welcome to start the academic year.

“I was troubled by the developments in Virginia and the larger societal message that was presented, so I asked a few friends on campus if they might join me in helping to change the narrative, at least on our campus,” Walcott said. “I have small children, so working with sidewalk chalk was a natural response.”

Emily Zoet, disbursements manager for the university’s Finance office, plans to join Walcott and other faculty and staff, Aug. 23, in support of this program and concept.

“I participate in ‘Chalk the Walk’ because I believe it is important that our students feel welcome and accepted when they arrive, no matter who they are or where they come from,” Zoet said. “My hope is that this simple gesture makes a difference to their first impression and experience here at Ferris.”

Walcott welcomes offers of support and involvement leading up to the event Aug. 23 activity.

“We are happy to be offering this to a wider audience,” Walcott said. “Anyone seeking to participate can reach out to me by email or calling me on campus at (231) 591-3942.”

PHOTO CAPTION: There will be a variety of messages of kindness and acceptance spread onto the sidewalks at Ferris State University during “Chalk the Walk for Inclusion,” which will take place Thursday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the North Quad. A group of faculty and staff volunteers will place the messages across campus, to welcome students back for the 2018-19 academic year.