Group talks about race and education in Montgomery County

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MONTGOMERY Co, Va. (WDBJ7) African Americans make-up about 4% of Montgomery County's population, a group is focusing on the youngest groups of residents. A committee gathers together every year to help solve racial issues in various aspects of the community.

Martha Ann Stallings and Wornie Reed organize group packets for The Dialogue on Race Summer Summit. "We listen to each other, we have dialogue, we are patient, we take ideas and we take suggestions. We share experiences good and bad," said Martha Ann Stallings, The Dialogue on Race.

Students, parents, and administrators will fill up tables and enjoy a summer cook-out. While they create fellowship they'll also tackle some serious topics, such as African American student data on academic achievement, discipline, dropout rates, and personal experiences in the Montgomery County school district. "Answer questions, basically about what racial issue has occurred to you in the schools, and the other questions, what are some of the barriers to successful education of African American children and youth. So that question being asked of parents and youth," said Wornie Reed, member of The Dialogue on Race committee.

The group hopes a list of action steps will come out of the event. "The whole purpose of this is to arrive at some improvement, we are not a group that just goes around yelling and screaming about racism. We say there is a disparity here, so let's solve it," said Reed. "Come up with some ideas and next steps. We can then meet with the local school division and together we can think about and collaborate how to make schools better for all kids," said Stallings.

The group will have another large summit in January.