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Notre Dame athletes lead peaceful prayer and unity walk

NOW: Notre Dame athletes lead peaceful prayer and unity walk

The Notre Dame football team hosted a peaceful prayer and unity walk to celebrate Juneteenth Friday afternoon.

Their walk was about taking action towards a better, more progressive Fighting Irish community.

Although Juneteenth isn't a new holiday, some were unaware of it.

“I did not know what Juneteenth day was, I had to open up my eyes to learn more about what today meant," head football coach Brian Kelly said.

The day celebrates the day the last slaves were freed in Texas following the Emancipation Proclamation.

This year's celebrations have been more visible because of the protests following the killing of George Floyd.

Notre Dame football captain Daelin Hayes says the issue of racial justice isn't black and white.

“It’s either you’re racist or you’re not, either you hate black people or you don’t. That’s not true. It’s much more complicated than that. There are a large amount of people, and I would argue a majority of our campus, faculty and students included, that are just not educated, they don’t know what they don’t know,” Hayes said.

How do the uninformed become more educated?

How does one of the most prestigious universities in the country help make a difference?

It starts with changing education itself.

“It does not arm students with the tools and sufficient education to go out and interact with the various minority groups that exist on campus," football player Max Siegel said.

“We have to diversify our perspective, diversify our leadership, diversify our representation in places on this campus and in this community," Hayes said.

After the prayers and speeches, the team led the crowd on a unity walk around campus.

Friday's events were organized by the players.


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