AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Following the rallies and protests in Amarillo last weekend, City officials hosted their first roundtable discussion of how Amarillo can improve equality for everyone in the community.
Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson says it is these types of discussions that need to become routine.
The panel of City officials agreed, there is only so much the City and elected leaders can do when it comes to creating equality.
“How can we as a community, more routinely, be proactive in having these types of conversations in making us more empathetic to each others lives, walking in each other’s shoes,” said Mayor Nelson.
That is why many at the discussion stated equality begins with the community.
“You are not born into racism. Racism is something that is taught, and I understand the African American community, because they have been dealing with racism since 1960s, 1950s, and some people are still living in that world today as if it was just like yesterday. I mean, it’s real,” said Freda Powell, Amarillo City Council.
In order to see an immediate fix, City Manager Jared Miller says it will take all of Amarillo.
“The city, the organization, the council, you know, our team, we can’t fix this problem. We can make it better. We can incrementally make better change, but to an extent, we may be fighting a tide. There’s no pastor, there’s no citizen that can do it all, but by working together and finding opportunities to cooperate and collaborate, we can definitely make more of a difference,” said Miller.
Mayor Nelson says a long term fix to the issue our country is faced with at the moment is educating children on what equality looks like.
“That’s decades long to see that change implemented through them, but someday they will be sitting where we are and where you guys are. Everything we can do today to build a better foundation, remove those bias', absolutely remove hate, that’s a good action step. It’s not a quick fix, but it’s a good action step,” said Mayor Nelson.
The City of Amarillo says, when the pandemic is over, they plan to have more roundtable discussions, where everyone can come to voice their opinion.