Continuing the conversation on race relations in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The community is again invited to a conversation about race relations at UAH.

The public forum, scheduled for Thursday, July 30th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Charger Union Theater, drew a crowd of around 30 people.

The event was a follow-up to April's "Let's Start the Conversation Concerning Race Relations," which focused on the relationship between the community and police. For Thursday evening's forum, the conversation was more general. Organizers say the goal was to find out what people are thinking and feeling, and start working toward common goals.

"Is race the defining issue in our state?" asked moderator David Person to begin the conversation.

There may have been only 30 attendees, but many of them chimed in, discussing how race is defined, how it defines society, and remaining scars after segregation and other painful parts of our nation's history.

"It's an important step and it's part of a succession of things that needs to go on in our community," commented Kenny Anderson, of the city of Huntsville Office of Multicultural Affairs about the discussion at the forum.

He said it's not the amount of people who attend that matters, but what kind of commitment they have to taking action for some kind of positive change.

"If it's 30 people or 3000 people, it really doesn't matter to me," he said. "As long as those individuals that are there make the commitment to doing something different."

The event was sponsored by the Huntsville's Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Huntsville Area Inclusive Community Initiative and the Human Relations Commission. It's hosted by the UAH Office of Diversity.

"We can certainly have a lot of talking. Eventually we have to stop talking and start acting," commented its Vice President, Delois Smith. She says these talks are a great way to begin that transition, and there are many more of these talks to come.

Future events will be held every two to three months. The next one will be about "Race Relations and the Faith Community," on Thursday October 1 at 6:30 PM in Charger Union Theater at UAH.

Organizers say the goal is to promote understanding, respect and cooperation among all groups in Huntsville.