Community Bonds at "Tallahassee Forward" Conference

Tallahassee Forward
Posted at 6:09 PM, Oct 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-26 18:29:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Hundreds of people gathered Monday at the Turnbull Conference Center for "Tallahassee Forward."

The city revamped the traditional Mayor's Summit on Race, Culture and Human Relations.

"Each year, it's the same conference but it has new ideas," said participant Reese Goad, general manager of utilties services in Tallahassee. "It has new thoughts. It deals with contemporary issues."

"Our intention here is to get people talking, understanding one another better, so that together we can tackle our community problems," said Mayor Andrew Gillum.

"The only way we move forward is through our people and through connecting with each other -- understanding our differences, celebrating our differences," said city manager Anita Favors Thompson.

While the conference was geared toward adults in the community, students were recognized for being positive role models. Shawn Holloway, a student at Rickards High School, was one of nine students honored at the event. He said being a leader can start at an early age.

"We can bring in young youth to see, to show them that there is another way -- that we don't have to just do nothing with our time or hang out on the streets," Holloway said.

One of the activities at the conference involved writing something positive on a Post-It note. The goal was to encourage people rather than bring them down.

"Being able to sit with your neighbor and go away as a friend -- that's like the best opportunity ever," Favors Thompson said.