Touchy Subject Discussed at Summit to Unite Neighborhoods

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Ray Wilson speaks at the podium as he addresses the participants of the Eastside/ Westside Summit. Photo by Seeta Lall
Ray Wilson speaks at the podium as he addresses the participants of the Eastside/ Westside Summit. Photo by Seeta Lall

Blunt Talks on Race Relations Sparks Conversation


By Ikechi Dixon
Metro Staff Writer

A forum was held at the Tri-C Metro Campus Nov. 14 to discuss ways to improve race relations in Cleveland – the theme, connecting Cleveland’s east and west side neighborhoods by implementing Street Clubs which would serve as neighborhood watches.

Many points were shared as conversations became more in-depth at the two-hour forum. The topic of racism is very touchy and many tend to stay away from it, but that was not the case at the Eastside/ Westside Summit.

The forum fostered topics that addressed the issues as to what limits the social cohesion between the two sides of the Cuyahoga River. Ray Wilson, a Tri-C business major, hosted the event and brought what was considered “The Breakouts,” which were the main points that were discussed.

The Breakout topics covered ran concurrently with race relations. When the topic of the social issues within our society was brought up it started a fiery discussion that browsed issues of classism, racial stereotypes and the fear that many have when confronted by people of different races.

Cultural issues were very enlightening as the comments that were shared from individuals of different ethnic backgrounds flowed throughout the room.

Professor Andrew Bajda attended the event and voiced his opinion that the event “surpassed his expectations.”

“Every one of the points that were discussed I thought were very unique, it lead to a lot of really profound conversations. Things I would have never thought of came up out of nowhere,” Bajda said.

Wilson said the forum sparked an overwhelming feeling.

“I expected more people, but I didn’t expect as much enthusiasm as I received from this small of a group,” he said.

In the closing of the summit Wilson had everyone share what they felt about the topics discusses, and if there were actual changes that can be made to combat the apparent issues of race relations.

Removing fear, strong morals, and increasing awareness were among the efforts voiced by the participants of the event to bring about a change.

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