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IUSB group to discuss race in America

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Friday evening, the Black Student Union at Indiana University South Bend will host a public panel on racism.

This forum is in response to recent events that have been held across the country – including what unfolded last summer in Charlottesville, VA.

In August, protests turned deadly there after a group of white nationalists held a Unite the Right rally. That rally was planned after the city cited plans to remove a Confederate statue. A 32-year-old woman was killed and several others were injured.

"When I see a threat to justice in Charlottesville I think we need to deal with it before it comes here," said E-Lexus Thornton, president of the Black Student Union at IUSB.

That was part of the reason he was prompted to organize a community forum in South Bend. 

Friday, Thornton will join a panel of five people to address racial issues within the South Bend community. He says he wants to hone in on racism within education, the economy and healthcare during the discussion. 

He is joined by the secretary of the Black Student Union at IUSB, two community activists, and a member of the Student Government Association at Notre Dame. 

South Bend Common Councilwoman Regina Williams-Preston will moderate the event.

It is free and open to the public. It starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Thornton encourages everyone to come regardless of race, religion or gender. He says having a diverse crowd is vital.

"Everybody should be able to come out here to say their piece," said Thornton. "And then everybody should be able to walk out with some sort of small solution, or some sort of idea of what they should do to fight against discrimination themselves."

And to find a solution, Thornton says people first need to come together. 

"Unity is the first part, that's what I believe," he said. 

So he's asking for everyone to come out and talk with the panel about discrimination problems. Ultimately hoping to find a solution. 


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