McCann: Unity, Boone and a Second Thursday

Published 8:55 am Thursday, January 30, 2020

At this year’s Unity Breakfast to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it was announced Renee Sawyers, a junior at George Rogers Clack High School, had submitted the winning high school essay.

It was not read that day, so I requested a copy to share with the community.

Her essay, word for word as she wrote it, follows though slight edits were made to break the essay into smaller paragraphs for easier reading in this paper. Sawyers’ biography is at the end of the essay.

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by Renee Sawyers

Unity is about coming together to create a team despite the differences we all face. We as a nation are considered a melting pot. This is true in the sense that we have people from all races and religions in America. After all, we are the “United” States, but if you take a closer look, you will realize that we are not really united at all.

Take a high school hallway, for instance. If you were to look around, you would notice many groups of people talking and laughing. This is great and all, except what about the ones who don’t have a group? What about the ones who stand alone, no one to laugh with. What exactly makes these individuals different from the rest?

The answer lies solely on their appearance, whether it be the clothes they choose to wear, the hairstyle they have, or the color of their skin, something has marked them different from the other kids. They’re walked past without a word said to them, because of the way they look.

Our society focuses so much on appearance, that we rarely get to know our people. The students who aren’t “pretty” are cast aside and excluded. What would happen if we really were to stand united?

Have you ever imagined a world where everyone loved everyone? That’s a hard thing to do because it’s never happened and probably never will, unfortunately. Society has always been diverse and although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go.

My hope for the world is we can learn to accept everyone around us for who they are, without having to meet this world’s ridiculous standards. Although we can’t change everyone’s mind, we can still make progress to the bigger picture. The world as a whole would be stronger, happier, and of course better.

United we stand, divided we fall, right?

It’s time to re-unite for good.

“My name is Renee Sawyers. I’m 16 years old and in 11th grade. I enjoy reading and writing, as well as drawing and painting. When I’m not working, I’m spending the day with my boyfriend or friends. I was inspired to write this essay from the everyday high school life. My hope is that one day, we can all truly come together and learn to love one another.”

Daniel Boone to speak

Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, presents Kentucky Chautauqua’s Daniel Boone, portrayed by Kevin Hardesty, on Friday. Doors open at 6 p.m. A light meal will be served followed by the performance at 7 p.m. Cost is $20. Reservations are required. Call 859-527-3131 for more information or to make reservations.

Bluegrass Heritage Museum

On Thursday, Feb. 13, George Chalfant will discuss his book, “Boone Trace: Opening the Western Frontier. A Historical Perspective of Boone Trace in Kentucky 1775-1795” as part of the Bluegrass Heritage Museum’s Second Thursday Program.

Chalfant is a former president of the Fort Boonesborough Foundation. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by the event at 6:30 p.m. A reception follows. The museum is located at 217 S. Main St. Call 745-1358 for more information. The event is free.

Bill McCann is a playwright, poet, flash fiction writer and teacher who writes about arts events and personalities. He can be reached at