Low turnout does not affect message of Civil Rights summit

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

News12 / Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- "Hate comes in all colors, but so does love," said Rev. Larry Fryer.

Rev. Fryer wants people to know that's not the only message this civil rights summit, hosted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other groups, is trying to send.

"Tonight was an opportunity to dialogue with persons from various communities to see how we can come together to deal with the problems that we face," Fryer told News 12.

Among the topics Tuesday night: voting rights, crime, and alternatives to just locking people up.

"What we have found out is that between 17 to 23 percent of the people in the prison population have mental illness," Judge Blanchard told folks.

Kendrick Brown sat in the near empty room, but he says low turnout will not affect what he can learn.

"It's all about information and getting it out there in any way shape or form. This avenue is not generally allocated to a lot of people," he told News12.

Race is always a sensitive issue and some say things will never change, but Brown sees things differently. He says knowledge is the key to overcoming any barrier.

"I feel like education does instill in you morals, principals, and values," said Brown.

Rev. Fryer says 50 years ago, civil rights was only thought of as a black versus white issue and in the next 50 it will still be around, but not in the same way.

"A national advancement for the association of all people. Not just one that will advance and promote this particular race or one that will promote this particular race," he told News 12.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference sponsored the event and will now take the discussion to lawmakers in hopes on finding common ground to improve legislation and issues of race and equality. They plan on holding another one in January and they're hoping numbers will grow once folks realize this is a discussion for everyone--not just one group or race

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