Louisville forum will discuss race relations, poverty and justic - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville forum will discuss race relations, poverty and justice

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A community forum on Jan. 13 will focus on understanding race relations in Metro Louisville and look at what's working and what needs improvement.

Community activists hope to answer those questions with the discussion that will target the city's youth.

Monday marks 12 years since former LMPD detective McKenzie Mattingly shot and killed Michael Newby, 19, during an undercover drug buy.

Mattingly was cleared of murder charges and resigned, and the case set off civil disobedience across Metro Louisville.

More than a decade later, racial tensions remain a hot topic in the city.

"And even with the, again, events across the country, with Ferguson, Baltimore, etc., we just feel that there's some simmering tension under the surface that needs to be brought to the forefront," community activist Christopher 2X said.

That's why he and the Hood 2 Hood movement are partnering with West Louisville Urban Coalition ahead of Black History Month and Martin Luther King Junior Day.

Next week, they'll hold a public discussion called “Raw Talk” at the Chestnut Street YMCA.

Their goal is to bring in the youth to discuss race, justice and poverty.

"We have to level the playing field to … put (our kids) in the position to be successful," said James Linton with the West Louisville Urban Coalition.

Nia Mitchell, who will be part of the six-person panel discussion, wants to help make that possible.

"I feel like one of the most injustices that takes place in our community is a lack of education," Mitchell said.

Young people will have the chance to share their thoughts about how racial tension is starting to build around Louisville.

They'll touch on the teen mob violence at Waterfront Park in 2014 and also discuss the recent chaos at Mall St. Matthews.

“We feel this discussion is healthy,” 2X said. “And our last hope ... is that the people in the community will feel we're doing this in a responsible way, not a reckless way."

2X hopes to make the discussion an annual event, and he’ll also invite the mayor and police to attend.

The "Raw Talk" on Jan. 13 starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Chestnut Street YMCA Ballroom.

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