UNITY Wheel Project Spinning Web of Connectivity, Sparking Conversation among Seahawks

Friday, September 24, 2021

UNCW Campus Life is hosting “The UNCW UNITY Wheel Project,” an interactive public art exhibit that aims to celebrate the unique and collective identities of the Seahawk community. The exhibit is open for viewing and participation on the Clocktower Lawn in front of Randall Library until Oct. 5. 

Students and employees who sign up to participate will help build a UNITY wheel that has 31 pillars representing a variety of identity traits such as “I am a student; I speak English as a second language; I am a leader; I am a first-generation college student; I am a veteran; and I am a survivor.”  

Coordinator for Campus Activities & Involvement, Darion Bayles, planned and prepared the temporary art installation, drilling 31 holes in the ground to plant each 10’ pillar made of PVC pipe. Participants will do the rest by traveling around the circle, crisscrossing and choosing the personal identifiers they relate to and wrapping teal, gold and navy blue yarn around them. As more and more people participate, they  will spin a colorful, intertwined web that visually represents both the vibrant diversity on campus as well as the interconnectedness within the UNCW community. 

“I love this project because it is interactive and fluid from beginning to end,” said Bayles. “When students see a creative pop-up opportunity like this on campus, it raises curiosity, which leads to learning. We are already seeing how the exhibit is sparking casual but meaningful conversations related to diversity, inclusion and equity issues.” 

Bayles noted that the exhibit is just a sampling of all the unique ways people can define themselves. His team plans to collect feedback from participants to be considered for future UNITY Wheel Projects. 

“We are going to keep thinking about how to make this bigger and represent more of our identities,” said Bayles.  

The UNCW UNITY Wheel Project is part of a global UNITY movement established in 2016 by leadership coach and author Nancy Belmont as a response to the divisiveness and negative rhetoric in American politics, according to the UNITY Project website 

To participate, students and employees can check in at the front of Randall Library between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can also reserve a time and check for inclement weather cancellations using WaveLink. 

-- Krissy Vick

Students participate in interactive UNITY Wheel

UNCW students participate in the UNITY Wheel Project to celebrate the unique and collective identities of the Seahawk community.