Local colleges join together to talk, tackle race

JACKSON, Tenn. — Two Jackson colleges came together Tuesday night to start an historic conversation between their students. It’s a conversation that can often be uncomfortable but they tackled racism right here in our community. Students from Lane College and Union University gathered on Union’s campus for a conversation prompted by the recent racial unrest at the University of Missouri. The goal was to create an open dialog about race between the two Jackson schools. “Younger generations have a voice in this and they have important things to say to all of society,” Union University Associate Dean Mary Anne Poe said. “We want to hear from the students.” Students from both school made their opinions know and banded together to cross racial barriers. “Whether they be from Lane or from Union the different experiences that all of them have had start this conversations,” Dr. Daryll Coleman with Lane College said. “They have dealt with it and now as scholars they might still be trying to deal with the frustrations and challenges.” The questions and dialog surrounded civil unrest around the country including recent protests at Mizzou and how it effects students here in Jackson. “Just imagine what we can do if we all stand together in unison,” Lane College student Brian Simmons said. “Do something that’s fighting for a cause or something we believe in.” Although at points the conversations turned into heated debates about race in our community, the students said it helped the two schools build a closer bond. “Sometimes you just have to say it how it is and sometimes you have to let people feel know how they feel and how they express themselves,” Simmons said. “Because sometimes some people feel the exact same way.” With such a diverse group showing support for each other students said it shows the future is bright. “Whether they’re white, Asian, or whatever we got a chance to sit here and feel the energy in the room,” Simmons said. “Feel how that person felt about this situation and I think it was needed.” Tuesday’s talk was the latest in a series of events that school leaders say is meant to strengthen relationships between the two schools and the City of Jackson.

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