Columbia youth are invited to attend a town hall forum Tuesday to discuss with city officials and other community leaders the recent violence in Ferguson, Mo., and what Columbia can learn from it, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said.
“So much of what we see and hear on the news especially coming out of Ferguson is framed in terms of ‘us against them’ when really it’s ‘us against us,’” Benjamin said in a news release. “That’s the conversation we’re trying to promote here in Columbia recognizing that the challenges we face are shared and the only way we can move past them is by doing it together.”
The St. Louis suburb became the focus of national attention last month when a white police officer shot an unarmed African-American teen. The incident led to protests and clashes between demonstrators and police.
The forum will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Eau Claire High School Auditorium, at 4800 Monticello Road. The event is co-sponsored by the Community Relations Council. Benjamin will join Richland school district chairman Aaron Bishop, local law enforcement, educators and community leaders in the forum.
“The purpose of this Town Hall is to have a courageous conversation about sustainable actions and behavior as we move forward,” Bishop said in the release. “This tragic incident indirectly impacted the entire nation therefore each community must responsibly move forward from the moment to a movement.”
The forum will take questions via Twitter using the hashtag #OneCity or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.