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United We Walk Videos Playlist

United We Walk - 10th Anniversary Video
History/Documentary - 2004 Telly National Award Winner



  • 2020 Theme: The Time Is NOW To Do What Is Right.
  • West Bloomfield High School Jazz Band Entertains, Noah Dyer, Director
  • Program in West Bloomfield High School Atrium on Civic Center TV Stage
  • West Bloomfield School District, Superintendent Gerald Hill, Gives Opening Remarks.
  • 2020 Adult Co-Chair: Jennifer Graham, Gives Remarks About Event and Community Service Projects.
  • 2020 Student Co-Chairs: Sage Golden and Hannah Rashty, Welcome Participants.
  • 2020 Button Contest Winner: Deeana Chant, 4th Grader, West Bloomfield School District, Roosevelt Elementary School, Is Recognized.
  • West Bloomfield High School, Junior, Jada Lee, recites a poem about Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.
  • Grace Centers of Hope, Representative, Kyle Coach, Gives Remarks.
  • 2020 Adult Co-Chair, Jill Bickford, Youth Services Coordinator, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, promotes MLK Day events that will be held at the public library.
  • 2020 Adult Co-Chair, Jill Bickford, presents a framed, United We Walk, 25th Anniversary, Button Display for the West Bloomfield Township Public Library.
  • Video Shown of West Bloomfield School District Students Speaking About Dr. King's Dream and Their Aspirations
  • Peace Walk Down Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield, Michigan
  • United We Walk Hands-On Community Service Projects Follows Walk to Benefit the Grace Centers of Hope.
  • Civic Center TV Captures 2020 United We Walk Event for Cable Television.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda, Oakland County Chapter, is Sponsor of 2020 Event Refreshments.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda, Oakland County Chapter, is Sponsor of 2020 Event Photography


  • 25th Anniversary Celebration
  • 2019 Theme: MLK365 ON THE RUN: What Are We Doing For Others?
  • Student Co-Chairs: Veronica Boddy, Lara Mathias, Brooke Taylor, Joseph Thomas & Rachel Zubrzycki
  • Adult Chair: Jennifer Graham
  • Program in WBHS Atrium on Civic Center TV Stage
  • 2019 Button Contest Winner: Bryn Cusack, 5th Grade, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Jill Bickford, Youth Services Coordinator, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, promotes MLK Day events at the public library.
  • Student Co-Chair, Brooke Taylor, of Legacy Dance Studio, LLC, performs.
  • WBHS Jazz Band Entertains, Noah Dyer and Chris Vilag, Directors
  • WBHS Winter Drumline Leads the Indoor Walk Around WBHS, Noah Dyer and Chris Vilag, Directors
  • United We Walk Hands-On Community Service Project During Event to Benefit Grace Centers of Hope
  • Sponsor of Refreshments: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Oakland County
  • 2019 Event Photographer, Warren E. Woodruff, DDS


  • Theme: What are you doing for others? (Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.)
  • Student Co-Chairs: Lauryn Azu, Veronica Boddy, Maria Kakos, Reese McCaskill, Jr., Jordan Robinson
  • Adult Chair: Jennifer Graham
  • New Initiative: Year-Round Events with WBSD Social Justice and MLK365
  • Canned Food Drive for Local Charities
  • Presentation in WBHS Atrium on Civic Center TV Stage, Remarks, Video
  • 2018 Button Design Winner: Sofia Kamoo, 6th Grade, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • Jill Bickford, Youth Services Coordinator, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, promotes MLK Day events at the public library
  • WBHS Jazz Band Entertains, Chad Mielens, Director
  • WBHS Winter Drumline Leads the Walk, Chad Mielens, Director
  • Sponsor of Refreshments: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Oakland County
  • Display of the United We Walk 26 World Leaders
  • Visual Fantasies Balloons, Gregory Taylor
  • Civic Center TV, Dave Scott, John Atwater & Staff
  • 2018 Event Photographer, Warren E. Woodruff, DDS


  • Theme: His Dream Raises Us Up
  • Student Co-Chairs: Zay Douglas, Cydnee Graham, Maria Kakos, Jordan Robinson
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Justin Brown, Jennifer Graham, Pastor Tim Holzerland
  • 2017 Button Design Winner: Lana Kadi, 7th Grade, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • 2017 Student Expression Contest Winner: Akshara Karthik, 7th Grade, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • 2017 Community Leader: Mike Rott
  • 26th World Leader: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
  • WBHS Orchestra, Linda Trotter, Director
  • OLMS Combined Choirs, April Tini, Director, Marjorie Haber, Accompanist
  • WBSD Combined Elementary School Choirs, Directors: Nicole Kutsick, Susan Rabotnick, Carl Battishill, Doug Beddow
  • MLK Quotes - WBHS Drama Department, David Wilson, Grace Trivax, Grace Jolliffe
  • 2017 Keynote Speaker: Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing, Joseph Davis, 3rd Grade, Roosevelt Elementary
  • Candlelight Vigil Led by Pastor Tim Holzerland with U.S. Civil Rights Timeline
  • WBHS Jazz Band, Chad Mielens, Director
  • WBHS Winter Drumline, Chad Mielens, Director
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Volunteers including Alpha Esquires
  • Food Sponsors: West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital Demonstration Kitchen, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter
  • WBSD School Displays
  • World Leader Display - 26 United We Walk World Leaders
  • Visual Fantasies Balloons, Gregory Taylor
  • Civic Center TV
  • 2017 Event Photographer, Warren E. Woodruff, DDS


  • Theme: Making His Dream Our Reality
  • Student Co-Chairs: Evan Foster, Mario Kakos, Cydnee Graham, Vernon Moye
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Justin Brown, Jennifer Graham, Chief Michael Patton, Pastor Timothy Holzerland
  • 2016 Button Design Winner: Ruby Kellman, 8th Grade, Abbott Middle School
  • 2016 Student Expression Contest Winner: Priya Shah, 6th Grade, OLMS
  • 2016 Community Leader: Pastor Ron Todd
  • 25th World Leader: Carter Godwin Woodson
  • WBHS Orchestra, Linda Trotter, Director
  • WBHS Chamber Choir, Mrs. Sheryl Hauk, Director
  • Legacy Dance Studio, LLC, Director Mrs. Crystall White-Winkler
  • 2016 Keynote Speaker: Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein
  • WBHS Winter Drumline, Chad Mielens, Director
  • WBHS Jazz Band, Chad Mielens, Director
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Volunteers
  • Food Sponsors: Whole Foods Market West Bloomfield, West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation, and Dunkin' Donuts of Farmington Hills
  • Visual Fantasies Balloons, Gregory Taylor
  • 2016 Event Photographer: Marco Antonio Photography


  • Theme: Mentoring for Social Justice & Peace
  • Student Co-Chairs: Mario Kakos, Vernon Moye, Jonathan Nirenberg, Rachel Warnicke
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Pastor Timothy Holzerland, CharRhonda Moye, Chief Mike Patton, Hertha Woodruff
  • 2015 Button Design Winner: Kasey Loudermilk, 4th Grade, Scotch Elementary School
  • 2015 Student Expression Contest Winner: Parker Jacobs, WBHS Sophomore
  • 2015 Community Leader: Chief Mike Patton
  • 24th World Leader: Malala Yousafzai
  • Sheiko Elementary Choir, Nicole Kutsick, Director
  • Hindu Temple Rhythms Dancers, Sudha Chandrasekhar, Director
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jay B. Marks
  • Emma Trivax, Vocalist, National Anthem
  • Perry Quarker, Vocalist, WBHS Junior, "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
  • Legacy Dance Studio, LLC, Director: Crystall White Winkler
  • West Bloomfield Community Choir, West Bloomfield Clergy Association
  • West Bloomfield Jazz Band: Chad Mielens and Karl Stein, Directors
  • West Bloomfield Winter Drumline: Chad Mielens and Karl Stein, Directors
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Volunteers
  • Food Sponsors: Whole Foods Market West Bloomfield, West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation and Dunkin' Donuts of Farmington Hills
  • 2015 Event Photographer: Jamie DeAnda, WBHS Senior, Karla Lopez, WBHS Student Assistant


  • Theme: United We Remember, Celebrate, Act!
  • Student Co-Chairs: Marcus Brooks, Nicholas Foster, Sara Nirenberg, and Rachel Warnicke
  • Adult Co-Chairs: CharRhonda Moye, Chief Mike Patton, Rev. Chris Richards, and Hertha Woodruff
  • Alumni Reunion Celebration for the 20th Event
  • Keynote Speaker: WXYZ-TV News Anchor, Carolyn Clifford
  • Memorial Tribute to Co-Chairs: Rev. Dr. David W. Robertson and Mr. David A. Henig
  • Community Leader - 6th Recipient, Wesley Berry, Jr.
  • 2014 Commemorative Button Winner: Sonia Ramirez, 2nd Grade, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School 4th Graders, Mrs. Pam Starr, Teacher - Poetry
  • 23rd World Leader: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
  • WBHS Jazz Band, Chad Mielens, Director
  • WBHS Drumline, Chad Mielens and Karl Stein
  • WBHS Laker Express, Mrs. Sheryl Hauk, Director
  • WBHS Orchestra, Mrs. Linda Trotter, Director
  • Abbott Middle School Combined Choir, John Deierlein, Director
  • Legacy Dance Studio, LLC, Mrs. Crystall White-Winkler, Director
  • Oratory/Written Expression Winners: Jourdan Clements (WBHS) Danielle Fink (OLMS), and Joya Jackson, Interpretive Dancer (OLMS)
  • Community Dinner: West Bloomfield Clergy Association Donations, Local Restaurant Donations including Whole Foods Market West Bloomfield, and Private Donations
  • Hot Chocolate provided by West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation
  • Visual Fantasies Balloons
  • Phillip Williams Photography


  • Theme: Unity in the Community
  • Student Co-Chairs: Marcus Brooks, Nicholas Foster, Malcolm Moye, and Sara Nirenberg
  • Adult Co-Chairs: David Flaisher, Rev. Chris Richards, and Regina Strong
  • 22nd World Leader: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • Keynote Speaker: David Merritt, WBHS Class of 2004, Merit/FATE, Straight Gate International Church of Detroit and West Bloomfield
  • Community Leader 5th Recipient: Brian Flaggs
  • 2013 Commemorative Button Winner: Rishabh Parekh, 7th Grader, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • Oratory/Written Expression Winner: Rishabh Parekh, 7th Grader, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • WBHS Orchestra, Mrs. Linda Trotter, Director
  • WBHS Chamber Choir, Mrs. Sheryl Hauk, Director
  • Combined Choirs of OLMS, Mrs. April Tini, Director
  • Legacy Dance Studio, LLC, Mrs. Crystall Winkler, Director
  • "Block by Block" Diversity Group
  • WBHS Jazz Band, Chad Mielens, Director
  • WBHS Winter Drumline, Chad Mielens and Karl Stein, Directors
  • "Lift Every Voice and Sing": Ameerah Shakoor
  • Marco Antonio Photography
  • Visual Fantasies Balloons
  • West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation - Hot Chocolate Refreshments
  • Community Dinner: West Bloomfield Clergy Association, Whole Foods Market of West Bloomfield, Al Oumara, El Nibble Nook, Greek Islands Coney Restaurant, Beans & Cornbread, Sonja James, and West Bloomfield African American Parent Association


  • Theme: United We Build the Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Alyxis Flaggs and Olivia Peace
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Brian Flaggs, David Flaisher, and Katherine Sheiko
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Silas Norman, Wayne State University, Freedom Rider
  • 21st World Leader: Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • Community Leader 4th Recipient: Dan Navarre
  • 2012 Commemorative Button Winner: Olivia Bowyer, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • Student Written Expression Winner: Sara Nirenberg, West Bloomfield High School
  • Musical Selection by Southfield Madrigal Chorale, directed by Dr. Robert Martin
  • OLMS Viking Voices, directed by Ms. April Tini
  • Candlelight Vigil


  • Theme: United We Remember and Move Forward
  • Student Co-Chairs: Alyxis Flaggs, David Kakos, and Erin Lasenby
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Brian Flaggs, Pastor Bill Matlack, and Eleanor Squaire-Spears
  • Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Denise Langford Morris
  • 20th World Leader: Maya Angelou
  • Community Leader, 3rd Recipient: Ms. Clara N. Bohrer, West Bloomfield Township Public Library
  • 2011 Commemorative Button Winner: Dana Korogodsky, 6th grade, Orchard Lake Middle School
  • WBHS Concert Choir
  • Student Oratory Contest Winners:, Mario Kakos, Olivia Peace, Austin Goodman
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Iota Rho Lambda Chapter, Presentation
  • "Lift Every Voice and Sing": Dr. Robert Martin and Mr. Blake Prewitt
  • Candlelight Vigil


  • Theme: United We Can
  • Student Co-Chairs: Chanel Geter, Taylor Gunn, Alyxis Flaggs, and Erin Lasenby
  • Adult Co-Chairs: David Henig, Sheryl Mitchell, Brian Flaggs, and Pastor Bill Matlack
  • Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Paul Yedwab, Temple Israel
  • 19th World Leader: Alice Paul
  • Community Leader 2nd Recipient: Ms. Julie Rodecker Holly
  • 2010 Button Contest Winner: David Kakos, WBHS Junior
  • Mrs. Kelly Gunn, Vocalist: National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "We Shall Overcome"
  • Combined West Bloomfield School District School Choirs
  • WBHS Concert Choir
  • WBHS Dance Team
  • Lawrence Yaldo, WBHS Class of 2000: Balloon/Stage Decorations
  • Dialogue Speaker: Imam Achmat Salie, Oakland University
  • Candlelight Vigil


  • Theme: United We Live
  • Student Co-Chairs: Ariel Flaggs, Chanel Geter, Taylor Gunn, and Alicia Lasenby
  • Adult Co-Chairs: David Henig, Sheryl Mitchell, and Brian Flaggs
  • First Year of Sunday Event
  • 18th World Leader: Barack Obama
  • Keynote Speakers: Tuskegee Airmen
  • Community Leader First Recipient: Dr. JoAnn Andrees
  • Combined WB School Choirs
  • WBHS Step Team
  • WBHS Men's Chorus
  • WBHS Laker Express
  • Dr. King's 80th Birthday Celebration
  • Dialogues and Personal Reflections with Tuskegee Airmen
  • First Year Candlelight Vigil Follows Program
  • Area Congregations Host MLK Interfaith Outreach Services


  • Theme: State of the Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Michelle Boyd, Chanel Geter and Becca Portney
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Rev. David Robertson, David Henig, and Steve Wasko
  • 17th World Leader: Oprah Winfrey
  • Timothy Orikri, Nigerian Artist, Inspired by Dr. King
  • Rev. Jonathan Sams who worked with Dr. King in the 1960's
  • Allen Park High School Jazz Band
  • WBHS Soul Singers under the direction of Kristi Kruger
  • WBHS African American Awareness Club Step Team performs
  • WBHS Laker Express under the direction of Kristi Kruger
  • State of the Dream Video Interviews, compiled by Chanel Geter
  • Allen Park High School & WBHS performing a program of Illusion Theater of Minneapolis, MN
  • Combined Choirs: Allen Park High School, Avondale High School and WBHS under the direction of Sheryl Hauk
  • Allen Park High School and WBHS Students: Project TRUST, Illusion Theater Minneapolis, MN
  • Charles Russell, Gratitude Steel Band
  • Walk in Peace in Native Languages
  • Allen Park High School Drum Line
  • Dialogue Session for Adults and Young Adults
  • Elementary Children: Book and Art Activities, organized by Shari Pawlus and Eleanor Squaire-Spears


  • Theme: Dare to Live His Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Michelle Boyd, Chanel Geter, and Becca Portney
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Rev. David Roberston, Raman Singh, Sherry Masterson, and Steve Wasko
  • Remarks by Rwandan journalist, Thomas Kamilindi at the Candlelight Vigil
  • Mosaic Youth Theater performance of "Speak for Yourself"
  • 15 and 16th World Leaders: Coretta Scott King and Paul Rusesabagina
  • Gratitude Steel Band "Lift Every Voice and Sing"
  • Ealy Elementary 5th Grade Choir, WBSD
  • West Bloomfield High School African American Awareness Club Step Team performs
  • West Bloomfield High School and Allen Park High School combined choirs perform
  • Walk in Peace messages in foreign languages
  • The Youth dialogues were facilitated by West Bloomfield High School and the University of Michigan students this year with support from the Skillman Foundation and the West Bloomfield School District
  • New Teen Congress


  • Theme: Hold Fast to His Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Michelle Boyd and Becca Portney
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Nanci Gelsey, Denise Drake, Rev. David Roberton, and Steve Wasko
  • Tyree Guyton presents Heidelberg "Shoe" Project
  • 14th World Leader: Rosa Parks
  • Dr. King's 77th birthday celebration at the Candlelight Vigil with cake from Opera Pastries
  • Combined West Bloomfield Abbott and Orchard Lake Middle Schools Choirs
  • Adult Oratory Contest, Winner: Imagene Bailey, Oakland Community College
  • Detroit School of Arts Vision Male Ensemble
  • West Bloomfield High School Laker Express Choir
  • West Bloomfield High School African Awareness Club
  • Allen Park High School Choir, Kristi Kruger, Musical Director
  • West Bloomfield High School Concert Choirs, Tim Schoenherr and Cheryl Valentine, Directors
  • Age-Appropriate Dialogue Sessions


  • Theme: I Have A Dream That We Can All Be Friends
  • Student Co-Chairs: Sawdayah Brownlee, Michael Rubyan and Samit Sheth
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Nanci Gelsey, Rev. David Roberston, Velma Jones, and Steve Wasko
  • Michael Rubyan: "National Anthem"
  • "I Have a Dream" Speech: Tony Bradley, NBA Players Association, Atlanta, GA
  • "Amazing Grace," Multi School Ensemble
  • Presentation: Children of Abraham Project
  • The Maples Arabic Music Ensemble, Dearborn, MI
  • Multi-School Ensemble " Amazing Grace"
  • WBHS Gospel Choir
  • Allen Park High School Choir and Jazz Band, "One Moment in Time," "You Raise Me Up"
  • Green School Fifth Grade Choir, "You've Got a Friend in Me, "America's Our Home"
  • "Walk in Peace" Messages Throughout Program


  • Theme: Honoring the Dream, Uniting Community
  • Student Co-Chairs: Michael Rubyan and Samit Sheth
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Nanci Gelsey, Velma Jones, Rev. Bruce Quatman, and Steve Wasko
  • Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Josh Bennett, Temple Israel
  • 10th Anniversary Video featuring original organizing committee members and supporters
  • Introduction of WBHS Gospel Choir
  • Allen Park High School Jazz Band and Choir
  • Adult Dialogue Workshop: Josh White Jr./JET Theatre
  • Scotch Elementary School, "Proud to Be An American," Jackie Torgerson
  • Premiere of Journeys, New Television Show by United We Walk and Mayer Video Productions
  • Program Finale: Award Winner vocalist, Thornetta Davis, and joint Allen Park High School and WBHS Choirs, " I've Got to Sing My Song"
  • Elementary Diversity Fair
  • Middle School Program
  • Teen Multi-School Chat
  • Adult Dialogue Workshop


  • Theme: Building a Peaceful Community, Today for Tomorrow
  • Student Co-Chairs: Rachel Charlupski, Sonal Sheth
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Debbie Macon, Rev. Bruce Quatman, Velma Jones, and Steve Wasko
  • Keynote Speaker: Rev. Kevin Turman, Pastor of historic Second Baptist Church in Detroit
  • Tribute to Superintendent Seymour Gretchko by Hertha Woodruff
  • Presentation of Resolutions for a Peaceful Community
  • Allen Park High School Choir directed by Kristi Kruger
  • Abbott Middle School Stages co-directed by John Deierlein, Debbie Zazaian
  • Combined Children's Choir directed by David Mayer
  • WBHS Choir directed by Tim Schoenherr
  • Adult/Youth Session
  • Teen Multi-School Chat
  • Disability Awareness Workshop


  • Theme: I Carry the Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Vibhuti Kowluru, Oluwakemi Talabi
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Stuart Brickner, Debbie Macon, and Rev. Bruce Quatman
  • Keynote Speaker: Huel Perkins, Fox 2
  • Adult Dialogue participants plan visits to churches, temples, mosques and synagogues throughout the year
  • A second auditorium program on Martin Luther King Day is added to give students and adults an opportunity to witness Dr. Michael Fowlin's "You Don't Know Me Until You Know Me"
  • A large elementary choir performs parent David Mayer's composition, "Children's Anthem" under the direction of Maryellen Sobestsky
  • Allen Park High School Choral and Jazz Band directed by Kristi Kruger
  • WBHS Jazz Band directed by Mark Phillips
  • Abbott Middle School-Stages-Fame co-directed by John Deierlein, Kelli Smiecinski
  • unitedwewalk.org website is launched with assistance from WorldWise, Inc.


  • Theme: Challenged By the Dream: Beyond the Differences
  • Student Co-Chairs: Lauren Gaines and Jasmine Patton
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Stuart Brickner, Debbie Macon, and Shelley Willner
  • Keynote Speaker: Michigan Attorney General, Jennifer Granholm
  • 2000 alumnus, Candace Johnson, joined by 1999 graduate and singer, Carmen Woodruff, return to perform "We Are One" and "We Are The World"
  • School outreach extends to Wayne County with the addition of Allen Park High School
  • Cranbrook Peace Foundation awards its Expanding the Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., grant award to United We Walk - its first major grant. A year-long lecture series, leadership development activities and new outreach and communications tools are planned as a result.
  • Abbott Middle School-Stages directed by Deborah Zazaian
  • Allen Park High School Jazz Band directed by Kristi Kruger
  • Avondale High School Choir directed by Kevin Cornwell
  • Walled Lake Western High School Troubadours


  • Theme: Building the Dream...Friend by Friend
  • Student Co-Chairs: Nate Hargress, Stephanie Kakos
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Jeddy Hood, Stuart Brickner, and Dorothy Friedl
  • Keynote Speaker: Conrad Mallett, Jr., Former, Michigan Supreme Court Justice
  • Senior Candace Johnson writes and performs United We Walk's second original song, "We Are One" along with WBHS Choir under direction of Tim Schoenherr
  • Organizers take the year's theme literally by inviting schools from across Oakland County to participate: Berkley H.S./ Norup Middle School, Birmingham Groves H. S., Birmingham Seaholm H.S., Farmington H.S., Hazel Park H.S., Royal Oak Dondero H.S., Walled Lake Central H.S., Walled Lake Western H.S., etc.
  • Orchard Lake Road. is completely closed to traffic for a new 1.5 mile walk loop between Green and Walnut Lake Roads
  • Abbott Middle School Choir under the direction of John Dierlein


  • Theme: Building the Dream
  • Student Co-Chairs: Michael Schonberger, Carmen Woodruff, and Courtney Youngblood
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Jeddy Hood, Stuart Brickner, and Dorothy Friedl
  • Keynote Speakers: Hon. Claudia Morcom and Dean Robb, Civil Rights Activists during the Civil Rights Movement that involved Dr. King
  • Student Keynote Speakers: Jadine Collingwood (Abbott Middle School), Jordan Maroko (OLMS), Dayna LePlatte (WBHS)
  • West Bloomfield Clergy Association sponsors first Candlelight Vigil on the eve of the Walk. Candlelight Vigil is organized by Dr. Rev. David Robertson.
  • Community Conversations, dialogue sessions are added after the Walk's conclusion to respond to participants' interests in discussing how the day's theme impacts their personal lives
  • Orchard Lake Middle School Jazz Band, directed by Douglas Blackwell
  • Abbott Middle School Show Choir, directed by John Deirelein, performs song, "Hands United in Peace": Solos by Nick Bennett, Peter Calloway, Jayna Jones, and Kristen Snyder


  • First Theme: What Does Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Mean to Me?
  • Student Co-Chairs: Monique Johnson and Stephen Goutman
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Jeddy Hood, Stuart Brickner, and Hon. Denise Langford Morris
  • Remarks by: Rabbi Michael Moskowitz, President of the West Bloomfield Clergy Association
  • Remarks by Adult Co-Chairs: Stuart Brickner, Trustee, West Bloomfield Township, Hon. Denise Langford Morris, and Jeddy Hood, Supervisor, West Bloomfield Township
  • Community Service Project With Canned Food Donations: Food Bank of Oakland County
  • New Pre-Walk program concludes with a multi-language message to bestow peace on walkers: "Walk in Peace"
  • WBHS/Abbott Middle School Choirs perform "The Power of the Dream" under the direction of Timothy Schoenherr and John Deierlein


  • First United We Walk Student Co-Chairs: Tara Edwards and Dan Tounsel
  • Adult Co-Chairs: Jeddy Hood and Hertha Woodruff
  • New Walk route takes Walk through neighborhoods south of WBHS
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast after Walk at WBHS
  • Video Keynote Address "Building Bridges," Rev. Kenneth Flowers of Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Detroit
  • Student Keynote Address: "What Do You Say?" by Michelle Mirkin, WBHS
  • Pre-Program Entertainment: WBHS Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Mark Essenfeld
  • First Multicultural Welcome in Foreign Languages
  • WBHS Student, Hiram Williams, shares his personal testimony
  • WBHS Senior, Tracey Phillips, writes and performs the first original United We Walk song in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King: "Come With Me"
  • Coretta Scott King's letter to United We Walk is read during Program
  • Proclamation presented to United We Walk from Mayor Dennis Archer, Mayor of Detroit
  • WBHS Choir performs at the Program: "The Star Spangled Banner," "Keeping the Dream Alive," and "Someday" under the direction of Deborah Barrows
  • Video Grande Finale: Montage of Students Talking and Singing About Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., and United We Walk produced by Tom Panackia introduced by Sharkey Haddad


  • Adult Co-Chairs: Jeddy Hood, Beth Borson, Diane Ferguson, Sharkey Haddad, and Hertha Woodruff
  • One mile Walk from Orchard Lake Middle School to West Bloomfield High School
  • Free shuttle service provided by General Motors
  • Complimentary Continental Breakfast after Walk at WBHS
  • Harpist, Onita Sanders, provides pre-program entertainment in auditorium.
  • Keynote Speakers: Rev. Wilma Johnson of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Father William Murphy of Our Lady of Refuge Church, and Rabbi Norman Roman of Temple Kol Ami
  • Gordon Bleich, Green Elementary School Music Teacher, directs a combined fifth grade choir of students from Doherty, Ealy, Green, Scotch, and Roosevelt, which provides the entertainment for the program.
  • Program Songs: "He Had a Dream," We Shall Overcome," "America's Our Home," and Finale: "We Are the World"


  • General Chair: Hertha Woodruff, Assistant General Chair: Beth Borson
  • The first United We Walk event took place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 16, 1995, at Orchard Lake Middle School and at West Bloomfield High School. Orchard Lake Road sidewalks served as the first Walk path from Orchard Lake Middle School to West Bloomfield High School. General Motors provided shuttle service. There were walk monitors along the Walk path.
  • A complimentary brunch took place prior to the Program in the West Bloomfield High School Cafeteria with entertainment provided by the WBHS Jazz Band under the direction of Carl Battishill.
  • Keynote Speakers: Rabbi Joshua Bennett, Temple Israel, Bishop Andrew Merritt, Straight-Gate Church, Rev. Frederick Johnson, Covenant Baptist Church
  • Orchard Lake Middle School/Abbott Middle School Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Paulette Apkarian and Rita Jury provided entertainment during the program by singing: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and by performing "We Are The World" as the musical finale.
  • United We Walk's 1st Planning Committee: Hertha Woodruff, Beth Borson, Sheryl Johnson, Denise Kelley, Shirley Barksdale, Brian Kaplan, Sharkey Haddad, Tom Stimmel, Mano Yono, Diane Venn, Pamela Bentley, Lance Davis, Nancy Gavoor, Esther Small, Shelley Willner, Judy Canosa, Elaine Schonberger, Margo Edwards, Debbi Yono, Ann Allen, Polly Friend, Charlene Mitchell-Rodgers, Joan Groves, Kwai-Fong Tse, Debbie Macon, Beauty Ovbije-Onomake, Andrew Groen, Diane Ferguson, Esther Peterson, Ida Goutman, Fran Denawetz, Katherine Sheiko, Ernie Robinson, Carla Jones, Ken Gutman, and Marsha Tucker.


Orchard Lake Middle School of the West Bloomfield School District in West Bloomfield, Michigan, is the birthplace of the United We Walk event.
  • Parents who were members of the Multicultural Awareness Committee of Orchard Lake Middle School, led by committee chair, Charlene Mitchell-Rodgers, and committee secretary, Diane Ferguson, proposed to the West Bloomfield School Board in February 1994 that the West Bloomfield School District observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., federal holiday, by closing its district schools, beginning the following year in 1995. The West Bloomfield School Board unanimously approved the proposal. In October 1994, the Multicultural Awareness Committee co-chair, Hertha Woodruff, United We Walk Founder, proposed that a multicultural community walk and event be held at Orchard Lake Middle School and West Bloomfield High School on the upcoming Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., holiday on Monday, January 16, 1995, when school would not be in session. Esther Peterson, principal of Orchard Lake Middle School, endorsed the proposal. Dr. Seymour Gretchko, superintendent of the West Bloomfield School District, approved it upon the request from Polly Friend, assistant superintendent of the West Bloomfield School District.
  • The original design of the United We Walk logo used for the first event was created by Orchard Lake Middle School students: Kinyel Ferguson and Crystal Roberson. Multicultural Awareness Committee member, Mano Yono, selected navy and gold as the event colors for 1995 and produced souvenir buttons for the event with the United We Walk navy and gold student logo. Mel Farr Automotive Group served as the sponsor for the souvenir buttons and General Motors provided shuttle service vans for the walk between Orchard Lake Middle School and West Bloomfield High School. General Motors' vans were made possible by General Motors' executive, Chris Johnson. Multicultural Awareness Committee member and West Bloomfield School District Community Liaison, Sharkey Haddad, named West Bloomfield's Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., diversity, celebratory event, United We Walk.