The City of Benton will host three virtual Dialogues on Race. The purpose of the dialogue is to gain insight and understanding into our own beliefs, and to come to new understanding of the issue of race.
The first dialogue is scheduled for Friday, July 30th at 6:30 p.m. The dialogue will be livestreamed on the City’s Facebook page (Benton Arkansas – Benton Proud).
The topic is “Law Enforcement and the Community.” The guiding question for the dialogue is “What measures can be taken to improve relationships between people of color and law enforcement.”
- Benton Mayor Tom Farmer
- Benton Police Chief Scotty Hodges
- Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright
- Alderwoman Jocelyn Cash, Benton City Council
- Tavallis Stephens, Minister, Ralph Bunche Community
- Chris Threatt, Minister, Johnson Street Church of Christ
- Jamala Wade Thomas, SHRM Senior Certified HR Professional
- John Michael Reed, Saline County Court Security Officer
The discussion will be facilitated by local resident Robin Freeman. The discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. with participants responding to questions they have previously received.
Members of a local group “Common Ground Saline County: Peace, Justice and Unity for All,” started meeting earlier in the summer to plan the event. The group formed after residents participated in a peaceful racial justice demonstration on June 5th. The group also hosted a virtual town hall meeting on June 16th to discuss and plan the dialogues.
A Dialogue on Race is a forum designed to draw participants from as many parts of the community as possible to exchange information, share personal stories and experiences, honestly express perspectives, clarify viewpoints, and develop solutions to community concerns.
Other dialogues planned include:
- August 13th at 6:30 p.m.: Education and Equity
- August 27th at 6:30 p.m.: Our Beloved Community