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Unity Community plans a big show



By ANGELA RUCKER
Courier-Post staff
ARTICLE 05/14/1999

Unity Community, a Camden-based organization, will send 44 of its
members to perform African dance routines and military-style drills at
the Million Mom March in Washington on Mother's Day, May 14.

The nonprofit group helps children develop into disciplined,
accomplished youngsters who can be role models to their peers and
has long been a proponent of gun control - the issue prompting the
mothers to mass in the nation's capital.

"Our community center has been an advocate against gun violence for
16 years now in the city," said Jamal Dickerson,
a drill instructor with
Unity Community and son of the group's founder, Robert Dickerson.
"There are a lot of bad things happening as far as gun violence even in
our own back yard."

Organizers said they were pleased to learn the dancers and marchers
would be performing at the march, which is expected to attract at
least 100,000 mothers and widespread media attention to gun-control
issues.

"It gives us national exposure and recognition," said Tonya Gray, vice
chairman of the board of directors of Unity Community.


March organizers want Congress to pass gun-control measures such
as requiring background checks, registering guns and licensing gun
owners; putting safety locks on all handguns; limiting firearms
purchases to one a month and improving enforcement of existing laws.


The World Champion UPK Pasha Generals, a drill team specializing
in close-order military soldiering, and the Universal Creative Arts
Ensemble, an African dance troupe, will perform. Unity Community
has about 200 participants who range from babies to senior citizens.

The Camden group is likely to perform before the New Jersey
delegation, which will be on the National Mall near 4th Street and
Madison Drive in front of the National Gallery of Art, a state march
organizer said.

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