The leaders of the Community Matters series of forums held last fall will report back on what they’ve learned at Oak Ridge High School on Sunday.
The informational session is scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24. All Oak Ridge residents are invited to attend.
This event will feature community leaders including Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, Police Chief Jim Akagi, ORHS Principal Martin McDonald, and leading pastors in town, all to continue the conversation begun last fall, a press release said.
“In the last couple of years, communities around the country have engaged the conversation sparked by Black Lives Matter,” the press release said. “In some communities, this has looked like protest. In others, it has looked like study and reflection.”
In Oak Ridge, last fall, four leaders decided that, for our community, it could look like open dialogue, conducted in a spirit of trust, the press release said. Pastor Derrick Hammond (Oak Valley Baptist Church), Father J.B. Shelton (St. Mary’s Catholic Church), Reverend Jake Morrill (Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church), and Chief Akagi (Oak Ridge Police Department) together convened three community-wide open forums, called “Community Matters.” Held in October and November, these sessions were well-attended, each drawing more than 100—and one drawing 155.
“It was an invitation for Oak Ridgers to share publicly what was on their hearts,” the press release said. “If nothing else, it was an opportunity for different perspectives to be shared and heard in light of each other. But it was also an invitation for community leaders to dig deeper, to ponder the questions that had been raised.
“So, through the winter, in various settings, these leaders have sought to learn more, about issues raised during Community Matters. Now, on April 24, they will share some of what they’ve reflected on, in the hope of continuing the conversation across our community. All are invited.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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