Inaugural Taste of Unity event brings diverse group to the table

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little food, a lot of fellowship and inspired motivation.

“Listen, you hear what I hear,” said Taste of Unity organizer DeBo’rah Drayton-Ward. “They’re laughing. They’re talking...and, we’re not strangers. We’re just friends that haven’t met yet.”

She said events like Taste of Unity is a first step to a better society.

“I know there’s a lot of disunity,” Drayton-Ward said. “There’s a lot of division. Here on the Gulf Coast is a lot of diversity. And, I wanted to know what can I do. I can’t change the world. However, I want to do something.”

And she did. The inaugural event is through Healing Table Unites, an organization only eight-weeks old.

“I find that, No. 1, people like to eat,” Drayton-Ward said. “And, it’s wonderful when we can enjoy one another, and, at the same time, become engaged with one another. And that’s how we become educated of the different cultures and background.”

There was plenty of food to fuel the conversation.

“I have to admit, food unifies people,” said D’Iberville resident Hardy Jones. “But, also just coming in here with the right heart and the right attitude. Everybody here is so gregarious and excited and it’s really nice. I would like to see this continue.”

Live performances at the Salvation Army Kroc Center provided musical background and arts and crafts displays represented diverse cultural expression that attracted all ages.

It’s a formula that is working.

“It’s very important to save lives and to help build communities like this,” said Biloxi resident Tonya English. “Build communities to help reach out that are in need, that those who need it. I need it. I know that I need it.”

Drayton-Ward said she plans for this to be annual event.

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