Town Hall Meeting Discusses Needs of Black Community

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

November 14, 2012

The third black community town hall meeting hosted by the Breaking the Chains of Silence Racism campaign addressed what a thriving black community looks like.

"It's unified, working collectively, shared vision, trust, addressing core
issues that we feel affect us as a group of people and collaborting
with other groups who wish to support us," Awareness Campaign Organizer, Michelle Ba'thbates said.

It is clear to other community members that the black community is
prepared grow in these ways.

"there's a very strong african american community that wants to build
business that wants to build community that are lookig at ways ot do
that and looking for individuals within their community to help them
in that building process," said Nancy Carpenter, who has lived in Charlottesville for four years.

According to research done by UVa and the City of Charlottesville, the
feedback says racism is a day to day issue for some people in the community.

"There are still some places where people do not feel comfortable going
and I find that surprising. But that's one the things that brought me
here. I wanted to understand what's going on," Carpenter said.

Ba'thbates says understanding different cultures and one's roots is what
can change the conditions in the community.

"The race terminology, to me, suggests that somebody has to win in the
end, opposed to us looking at individuals as human beings."

After an open-mic session, lots of listening and understanding, the group
continues to develop the best plan for Charlottesville and for the needs
of the black community.

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