Officials gear up for bi-annual Dialogue on Race Summit

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— Friday night, organizers spent much of their night setting up at Christiansburg Middle School to have a conversation with the community about issues of race.

This year their focus is on the wealth gap between African Americans and whites to show how it impacts the community as a whole. The Community Group has five focus groups they work with all year long: Education, employment income gap, Jim Crow white privilege, limited presence on boards and law enforcement.

Organizers said even in 2020, these are still issues that need to be addressed.

“This conversation has to happen,” said Community Group President Penny Franklin. “It can be very uncomfortable, but unless we’re uncomfortable and then talk about it then we don’t move forward. We stay where we’re at and staying where we’re at is not acceptable.”

Summits have been held since January of 2013. Franklin said they have seen significant change through the years, but there is still room to improve.

Coffee with police officers starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by a community conversation at 10 a.m.

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