Rochester promotes ‘National Day of Racial Healing’

Local News

The City of Rochester held its first-ever National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday.

During the event, city leaders signed a charter that they hope will curb racial inequality within the community.

“Let’s get real”: That’s the message coming out Tuesday from the city leaders. Mayor Lovely Warren hopes that getting local government involved in community conversations and having a public policy in place will dismantle discrimination.

According to Warren, the City of Rochester is in the Top 15 Bad Cities for African Americans to Live In — mostly due to poverty. She says something has to be done under her watch.

“The city proposed this charter that’ll focus on four areas that’ll help solve racial inequality,” the mayor said.

They include workforce planning that’ll ensure employees and senior management complete training on diversity, racial equity and inclusion. Grantsmanship will expand local anti-poverty initiatives.

Community empowerment is another of the charter’s goal to dismantle systemic racism and media engagement — which workshops are to be held to further discuss the racial divide and language with media leaders.

“As we get out in the community and start helping people to let them understand what are some of the terminologies that we’re using,” said Council member-at-large Willie J. Lightfoot. “Racial equity, what does it mean? Structural racism, what does it mean? Institutional racism, what does it mean? I mean we have to begin to peel back the layers and then once we peel back the layers, we have to acknowledge the fact that some of these things have happened and then we have to work on healing. How do we as a community come together and be unified as a opposed to divided.”

This initiative is a collaborative effort with the National League of Cities.

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