Hate reared its ugly head in the form of protest and violence between white nationalists and counter protesters in Charlottesville this summer, with President Trump placing blame on “both sides”. Counter protester Heather Heyer died when an alleged white supremacist used his car as a weapon and mowed her down in the streets.

President Trump pardons Sheriff Joe Arpiao, a man ordered by a federal judge to stop violating the constitutional rights of Latinos and was convicted of criminal contempt for not stopping the practice.

Yet there are glimmers of hope in terms of race relations as we watched people, regardless of race, help neighbors and strangers escape the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey in Houston and other parts of Texas.

As these events unfold, people all over are looking for ways to talk – to express their concerns and focus their energy for good. We at WHRO recognize that our Race: Let’s Talk About It Town Hall meetings are more relevant than ever.

We are proud to bring you the third season of open conversations about race – where the audience is the conversation and different groups of people come together for understanding. Our first two Race conversations this year happen in October and November.

On October 28, 2017, from 2-5 p.m., in partnership with The Sankofa Projects, Fort Monroe Authority and the National Park Service, WHRO is proud to bring you the film, The Price of the Ticket, a documentary on the life and times of literary great and Civil Rights activist James Baldwin. The Price of a Ticket explores untold aspects of Baldwin’s life and provides for dialogue around humanity and social justice. Immediately following the film we will conduct a “talk back” with filmmaker Karen Thorsen. The event is free and open to everyone. Please register at whro.org/talkaboutrace.

You will also have a chance to hear Ms. Thorsen on Another View on Friday, October 26 at noon on 89.5 WHRV-FM, where we will begin the conversation.

On November 4, 2017, from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., we will hold our next Race conversation – this time as part of the One Love Festival at Virginia Wesleyan University’s Boyd Dining Hall. Our topic is “Waging Peace: Beyond Extremism to Our Muslim American Neighbors”.

This town hall discussion will focus on how to wage peace by freeing ourselves of the fear and misunderstandings that divide us - especially from our Muslim neighbors – and encourage us to cultivate meaningful relationships and build bridges across our divides. This town hall is free and open to everyone. Please register at whro.org/talkaboutrace.

We will begin the conversation on the Muslim faith on Another View, Friday November 3, 2017 on 89.5 WHRV-FM at noon.

I have the honor and privilege to moderate both town hall discussions and I hope you will come and bring a friend! It is only through dialogue that we find our commonalities and learn to appreciate our differences. These are opportunities for you to express yourself in a safe, civil environment and have real conversation about tough topics. Join us and become a part of the solution to our racial divide.

Many thanks to our partners:

Fort Monroe Authority
National Park Service
Virginia Wesleyan University’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom
The Sankofa Projects
Hampton Roads Pride
YWCA, South Hampton Roads