On the campus of Mott Community College this upcoming Monday (October 14), the 27th Annual Peace & Dignity Ceremony will take place. The ceremony is designed to promote cultural and racial harmony. Starting at 11am, the program will begin at the Peace and Dignity Tree on the lawn of the Mott Memorial Building, facing Court Street. It will be held outdoors (rain or shine) and is free for the public to attend.
The ceremony is one of Mott’s signature events and will commemorate Native peoples and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Descended from Native American rituals, the program will feature the People of the Four Colors ceremony, a rededication of the Peace and Dignity Tree, ceremonial dancing and drumming. The People of the Four Colors ritual honors people of all colors (red, yellow, black and white) and requires the participation of four people, each representing a different color. The individuals will provide brief remarks and drape a prayer tie of color around the Peace and Dignity Tree. Towards the end of the ceremony, all participants will have the chance to make a prayer offering. While attending, please remain quiet and respectful to all participants.
This year, the four colors are represented by: Anoopa Todd, MCC Alumni Board Association Member (Yellow); Shelly Sparks, Executive Director of Flint Development Center (Black); Theresa Chingwa, Cultural Service Specialist for Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (Red); and Joseph Schipani, Director of the Flint Public Art Project (White).
If attending please refrain from taking photographs or using cell phones during the smudging activity, and please ask permission before taking photographs of the ceremonial drums and drummers.