In the wake of a number of protests in Atlanta, popular radio and TV host Rickey Smiley, entertainers and community leaders hosted a town hall meeting called #StrategyForChange. The town hall meeting was put together by Radio One and played on several radio stations including popular urban stations V-103 and Hot 107.9.
Popular figures and represnatives from metro-area police departments, along with Black Lives Matter activists gathered at the House of Hope Church in Decatur to figure out ways to work together to improve relations between police and black communities.
The meeting comes after protesters marched for five days through Atlanta asking for something to happen from top Atlanta officials. The night was full calls demanding for solutions for real change. However at times it became filled with raw emotions and anger over police killings of unarmed black men across the country.
Daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Bernice King, urged citizens to organize and agree on a mission and develop a strategy. King says, “We must stay together and continuously hold the justice system accountable for these acts that are killing are community. A few days of marching and talking on social media will not change it but if we pull together and vote during the elections for a communities representatives and judge we will see a difference.”
Anger and pain were also directed at police representatives on the panel, including DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander.
“We’ve got to be ready to listen to the people and hear their anger, and tend to their anger and cerate some opportunities in which we can continue to work together,” Alexander told us.
While the end of the event did not result in a consensus of how to solve the problems of policing in America, all there agreed that there is a need for people of all races to unite and bring peace between police and minority communities.
“If all lives matter,” said singer Tyrese, “we need you to show up for us.”