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Office of the Mayor to Host Time of Listening Event for Residents to Share Experiences of Racism

Jun 1, 2020

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ELYRIA, OH – The Office of the Mayor is hosting Time of Listening: Experiences of Racism in the City of Elyria, an event for residents of color to share their experiences with racism with City officials and community leaders.

The event, in partnership with the YWCA and the Lorain County Urban League, will facilitate an open forum for residents to share their personal experiences with racism in the City of Elyria, in the hopes of identifying patterns and having the opportunity to address and create actionable solutions.

“We’re committed to listening to resident experiences, and working together to eliminate racism and all forms of discrimination in Elyria. My office is committed to evaluating and fighting to change policies that not only make life more equitable in our community, but to do our best to right previous wrongs, while building a better future.” said Mayor Frank Whitfield “We are the
only municipality in our county’s history to elect an African-American Mayor. Why is that? I don’t think I am near the first to be qualified for the position, and I shouldn’t be the last. I believe it’s our duty as community to do the work, figure out solutions, and be a living example to communities throughout the nation.”

Residents will have roughly three (3) minutes a piece to share experiences, with the event being facilitated to provide clear action items and next steps for City officials. Counselors and local clergy will be available onsite for any resident that needs support after participating in the experience.

For residents eager to share their experience, but unable to attend, stories can be shared via email to Ren Flanders, Chief of Staff of the Whitfield Administration to rflanders@cityofelyria.org

“It’s incredibly important to us that this does not become sacrificial. We don’t want this to be a space where Black people are being asked to bare their souls and are emotionally sacrificing themselves as a result. We want to create a safe space for those who would like to share to do so, with the officials in our community with the power to make changes.” said Ren Flanders.

Time of Listening: Experiences of Racism in the City of Elyria will begin at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, June 2nd at the City Hall Parking Lot at 131 Court Street, Elyria OH. In accordance with physical distancing guidelines and safety protocols, the event will be held outdoors; attendees will be required to physically distance and are encouraged to wear masks.

For more information, please call the Office of the Mayor at 440-326-1402, or contact Ren Flanders, Chief of Staff at rflanders@cityofelyria.org

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