Unity in the park hopes to unite the community and raise awareness

Chris Bowie
Dreams Creating Entertainment and Bloom Hair Studio will co-host "Unity in the Park" 2-9 p.m. Saturday at Kemper park in Boonville. The event, which is to bring the community together and unify, is free and open to the public.

Terrance Perry, owner of Dreams Creating Entertainment, has a dream that one day everybody will come together in unity.

After the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the ongoing demonstrations and reactions to it, Perry believes now is the time to come together as a community.

Perry, a paraprofessional at Laura Speed Elliott in Boonville, teamed up with Bloom Hair Studio to hold “Unity in the Park” 2-9 p.m. Saturday at Kemper park. The event is open to the public.

The purpose is for the community to come together and unify together, Perry said.

“You are always going to have some kind of problems,” he said. “There’s always been problems everywhere, and the only way to deal with those problems is for everyone to come together as one.”

Perry arranged an array of speakers throughout the event, including Boonville R-I Superintendent Sarah Marriott, Laura Speed Elliott Principal Stephanie Green and Elder Wayne Jones, of New Life in Christ Ministries in Boonville.

Other local church leaders will speak, WJs owner Brad Woolridge, Jordan Shikle and 48th state representative district candidate Bill Betteridge, among others.

Speakers will touch on issues that are going on in today’s society and in the community, Perry said. He is expecting anywhere from 150-200 people to attend.

“This thing can be bigger than a one-stop shop in Boonville, Perry said. “You start here and it can escalate to other towns. Hopefully it will continue to be something that we can have every year. I will start in Boonville and grow from there. It’s definitely something we can start like park day in August to kind of coincide with one another.”

Racism, especially in smaller towns, often gets swept under the rug because people are not aware of it, Perry said. People sometimes don’t recognize their racist statements until they are acknowledged by others, he said.

That’s where “Unity in the Park” comes in, Perry said.

“Is everything going to be established over a day’s period of time? No, but there will be things that will be brought to light,” he said. “It’s also about everybody coming together and having a good time. That is why Iam asking people to swallow their pride and come out to the park for this day because it will be the start of something amazing.”