Green Bay leaders come together for virtual conversation about race, equality

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 5:21 PM CDT
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Community leaders hope to inspire change by addressing racial injustice in Green Bay through a series of town hall discussions.

It is the murder of George Floyd ten days ago leading millions to protest police brutality across the country and forcing communities, like Green Bay, to have conversations about race and equality.

"I don't know about y'all, but I have a lot of emotions about what's going on nationally," said Eddie Moore Jr., founder and president of The Privilege Institute. "I have a lot of opinions about what's going on nationally, but right now I think what our goal is is to call in some folks here in the local community who are doing work to say, 'How can we do work together, better?'"

"This is a wildly changing community. Fifty-one percent of the kids in our schools are minority kids. This is not the Green Bay your grandparents and my relatives grew up in," said Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith. "This is a Green Bay that is changing, multi-cultural, moving forward in the right direction."

Eliminating racism is a cornerstone of the YWCA. The 'Where We Live: Virtual Town Hall Event' on Wednesday morning drew in more people than expected, reaching capacity before it even started.

"Right now, I feel like it is the time for the Northeast Wisconsin people, its leaders, its organizations to speak up, recommit, and to act on actions of race, because our communities truly need to embrace equity and inclusion," said Mai Lo Lee, director of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs at UW-Green Bay.

Many find themselves asking the questions: "Where do we go from here?" But some say we as a community are not ready to address that just yet.

"How do we admit what has happened to an entire group of people? How do we admit this is a norm in society? And then how do we give our young people and the folks that are really affected by this every single day an avenue to grieve, and how do we support them in that?" asked Robin Tinnon, co-founder of Black Lives United-Green Bay.

"The best thing a white ally can do is advocate for a community that is underrepresented, that is not heard, that is silenced," said Lee.

The YWCA Greater Green Bay has scheduled other town hall events to address these issues. The schedule is as follows:

June 17 from 12 1 p.m.

June 30 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

July 15 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

July 25 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.