The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Akron - Race

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Like many cities, Akron has a long, complicated history of race relations, but it also has a history of facing those conflicts head on, and having open, community dialogues with white and black residents. In 1994, the Akron Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing some of the “ugly realities” of racial prejudice that had been hidden for years, and received overwhelming community response pledging to improve race relations. And in 1997, President Bill Clinton chose the University of Akron as the location for his first Town Hall Meeting on Race. But more than 20 years later, the United States feels more divided and more segregated than ever. Recent confrontations between black and white members on Akron’s City Council caused Mayor Dan Horrigan to publicly call for a return to civility. And the Akron police chief was forced to resign in part for using the n-word. On the 4th stop on The Sound of Ideas Community Tour, we head back to Akron to look at the state of race relations in the Rubber City. We featured residents who spoke about bridging the divide both on a neighborhood level and through our everyday personal encounters. We also relied heavily on our audience for interaction throughout the show. 



The Sound of Ideas Community Tour


-Bruce Winges, Editor, Akron Beacon Journal 

-Dr. Sadie Winlock, President & CEO, Akron Urban League

-Bishop Joey Johnson, Akron House of the Lord 

-Jason Segedy, Director of Planning and Urban Development, City of Akron 

-Dru Joyce, Men’s Basketball Coach, St. Vincent St. Mary High School 

-Dr. Zachery Williams, Associate Professor of African American History, University of Akron

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