Conn. (WTNH) — A group is hoping to tackle the important and complicated issue of racial equity here in Connecticut.
Cries of police brutality this past summer, protests nationwide. The emergence of Black Lives Matter nourished discussions of racial injustice.
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) is staging a series of public regional discussions. The series is called CCM CARES (Communities Advancing Racial Equity Series).
The series of 90-minute public Zoom discussions will include municipal leaders – like New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker – and promote a two-way conversation.
“It’s really getting people to understand that this is a Connecticut problem,” Joe DeLong, the CEO and executive director of CCM told News 8.
One of their goals is to get people comfortable having these “uncomfortable” discussions.
“Having that conversation and getting folks to understand not only that it exists, but why it exists,” DeLong explained. “Once you fully understand why it exists, then you can start getting people together to take action.”
DeLong added that a big part of the discussions is “that ability to listen, to communicate in a way where you’re not trying to just get your point across. That you’re actually hearing what someone is saying from their point of view. When you can overcome those hurdles you can really create positive action going forward.”
DeLong said the division in our state is somewhat unique, given the size of Connecticut.
“This is the size of a county in some other states. But, we are worlds apart from one community to another, divided by a town line that a lot of people couldn’t even tell you exactly where it is.” DeLong said.
So, how did a small state become this parochial?
“These things haven’t happened by accident. They were intentional decisions made throughout the years through policy.” DeLong explained. “It’s about putting people on somewhat of a level playing field to be able to all have the same opportunities in life.”
For those hoping to listen into the discussions, and ask questions, just go to CCMCARES.COM.
And register to be a part of the zoom. They are also streaming on their facebook live as well.
News 8’s Keith Kountz will be moderating Thursday night’s discussion.