The city is calling on residents to ‘accept, include, and be kind’

(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pexels)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pexels)

VIRGINIA BEACH — October is Bullying Prevention Month and the city’s Parks & Recreation Department is taking part by celebrating its second annual Unity Week through Saturday.

After a successful launch in 2018, VBPR is teaming up with other city departments including Libraries, Cultural Affairs, Human Services, the Volunteer Office, the Communications Office, and the Virginia Aquarium to spread the message even further, officials said

The purpose of the week is to promote the inclusion and acceptance of all individuals in our community.

The week will culminate with a unity celebration at Mount Trashmore on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. that will include live performances, dance, yoga, food trucks, children’s activities, participating community organizations and more.

Some ways to get involved with the unity movement include:

  • Share a special recipe that represents your unique culture or heritage by participating in our online recipe exchange. Find a shared recipe that someone else has submitted and treat your taste buds to a new flavor outside of your comfort zone.
  • Take a picture with the traveling “Be the I in Unity” banner to post online. The schedule of banner locations can be found on the website.
  • Participate in a free group fitness classat one of the recreation centers.

​To learn more about Unity Week, view the entire schedule of activities, or find out how to get involved, visit Residents can also share their own unity messages on social media by using #VBunity.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.