Building Community Vision Through Open Inquiry
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Addressing Racism: City Club of Eugene’s Role

The events of the past few weeks have been wrenching. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black Americans have fueled massive protests across the country and focused our attention on racial inequality, social injustice, bias in law enforcement and flaws in our criminal justice system. The City Club of Eugene is planning two Friday Forums focused on the issues raised by recent events: On July 24, a panel will discuss accountability and transparency in local law enforcement, and on July 31, we will hear about reliance and over-reliance on law enforcement, as well as the redefinition of the scope of policing. Eugene Police Auditor, Mark Gissiner; Eugene Chief of Police, Chris Skinner; and Ibrahim Coulibaly, President of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP and member of the Eugene Human Rights Commission have agreed to participate in the upcoming programs, along with other knowledgeable scholars and activists. We hope you will join us virtually by visiting our webpage or viewing the programs on our Facebook page or listening to KLCC 89.7 at 7:00 p.m. on the Mondays following the Friday presentations.

At City Club, we provide a forum for discussion of important community issues. Although we do not advocate for specific proposals or policies, in this unusual circumstance we feel compelled to identify and understand racial inequities in our current system. Systemic racism is real and persistent. We must acknowledge the historical role of racism in Oregon and in Eugene. Silence is the main obstacle to true reform. We pledge to examine how that silence perpetuates racial inequality and to remain open to suggestions for how to promote a more just and equitable future.

Racism, hatred, and inequality have no place in our community. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it to enhance the safety and security of all people. And although we are not holding in-person meetings during this uncertain time, we remain committed to holding virtual discussions about difficult topics like racism and racial injustice as we further our longtime goal of building community vision through open inquiry.

City Club of Eugene Board of Directors: Scott Coltrane, President; Eric Richardson, Past President; Kitty Piercy, President-Elect; Skip Coburn, Treasurer; Joshua Burstein, Secretary; Margaret Hallock; J. Ingrid Kessler; Marilyn Milne; Ralph Pledger; Fred Roberts; Katherine Schacht; and Silver Mogart, Executive Director.


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If you found the City Club forum on “The Lasting Impact of the Internment of Japanese Americans” to be compelling please follow this link to a video about City Club member Barbara Daté’s mother, Florence Daté Smith’s personal experience.