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Tallahassee leaders, community tackle racism, diversity

Posted at 8:01 AM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 08:01:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Not many are open to discuss sensitive topics like race and diversity. But Monday, the city of Tallahassee and members of the community did just that.

Community members are asking the hard questions about race and diversity.

Hundreds were in attendance at Monday's "Community Conversation" discussing how to confront institutionalized racism. All to make Tallahassee a safe, and connected community.

Betsy Oullette- Zierden believes this is what the city needs to move forward.

"Things need to be addressed to move forward and the city has great potential, if we would just own up to our past and look forward together for the future," said Oullette- Zierden.

Facilitator Sue Gallagher showed racial disparity in graduation, poverty and arrests rates from within Leon County. The reasoning for the difference starting a long time ago.

"We're up against 400 years of racism that has infiltrated every single system every single experience that we have in the United States and so it's going to take every single one of us to come forward with our anti-racism behavior and actions," Gallagher explained.

But there are solutions. Gallagher says to solve this problem we need look into local history, focus on equity among all races and keep the conversation going.

"I'd like to see this happen again, and again and again and again," Oullette- Zierden said.

Combating racism one conversation at a time.

The group concluded that learning together as a community was the best way to combat racism in the future.