MENTOR, Ohio — People in the community of Mentor are coming together once again to host meaningful conversations about race during the second annual Mentor Racial Justice Week.
Brandon Towns, co-organizer of Mentor Racial Justice Week, said he helped create the event last year in response to George Floyd’s death and he believes there is still more work that needs to be done.
“We had to begin the conversation and continue the conversation with different committee members kind of voice their stories as it relates to race and racism in Mentor,” Towns said.
Town says the events are happening each day this week and include in-person and virtual conversations focusing on ways the community can start turning the dialogue into action, such as recently creating a diversity and inclusion task force at Mentor Schools.
“So finding ways that we can all get involved. And even if it's just once doing something that really moved the needle towards racial justice,” he said.
Monday night’s discussion is on religion and critical race theory, which teaches how racism shaped public policy and life in America.
“But what does it mean, especially for people of faith and how do we grapple with this controversy? And is it authentic controversy?”
An Ohio House Committee is reviewing republican sponsored House Bill 327, which seeks to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. The bill has been opposed by the Ohio Education Association and Towns.
“I firmly believe that when it comes to children, as an educator, as a parent, that it's more important to do right than to say right, because kids are going to do what you do, not always what you say,” Towns said.
Other events this week include a book club reading and a silent march and a day for reflection.
“We just take time to just think about what's happened and what it means to us, how we can carry that forward,” Towns said.
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