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Mural brings community together: “Words that Unite” more than words to some students

Children play and draw on "Words that Unite" mural while their parents watch. The mural will be on display until October. (Photo Credit: Kelsey Dickerson/THE SPECTATOR)

Staff Writer Olivia Studdard, Staff Writer

A new barricade wall mural has appeared in the Valdosta Mall, and is capturing the eyes of shoppers who enter.

The mural is titled “Words That Unite” and is prompting people to find words in the word search that have a positive meaning. The mural was unveiled just in time for back to school shopping, and will be in place for the next several months.

The wall includes over 150 words in both English and Spanish including peace, patience, unity, and exploration. After finding a word on the wall you are encouraged to take a picture and post it to social media using the hashtags #wordsthatunite and #valdostamall.

In the past few weeks, Valdosta State University students have found much more than words in the word search.

“The first word I found was peace, and for me it was so much more than a word on a wall, it was a light at the end of a very long week at school,” said sophomore communication disorders major, Layne Brock. “College is great and I love what I’m studying, but sometimes you just have a hard week, and you need some reassurance that you’ll make it through.”

This is not the first mural of its kind that the Valdosta Mall has displayed. In January of this year a mural about “In my life I hope to…” appeared on the wall surrounding construction.

“It’s a pretty good attempt to bring the community together in the middle of all the crazy that’s happening in the world today,” junior early childhood development major Sydney Marro said. “It was a nice surprise when I walked into the mall looking for some shopping therapy and there was this word search prompting me to find the good in the day.”

Citizens of Valdosta are enjoying looking at the word search and finding new words every time they visit the mall, and sharing them with their friends and family.

“Children are funny. They understand when people are angry and sad. I was able to use this mural as a way to explain to my three-year-old about how people really can be nice to each other,” said 31 year old, Valdosta native Chris Miller.

The mural will be in place until a holiday themed display takes its place in October.


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