Call for racial equality event held on East Side

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A “Call to Action” Dinner was hosted on Charleston’s East End Tuesday night to push for more racial equality in West Virginia.

The event, which took place at the East End Family Resource Center, featured a dinner and guest speakers. Takeiya Smith, who spoke, said the event was to get people talking.

“It seems like it’s hard or uncomfortable for people to talk about race in West Virginia,” Smith said. “And if we can’t even talk about it, how are we ever going to make progress here?”

The keynote speaker was Farajii Muhammed, a community organizer who has done some work on racial justice in Baltimore. Smith said that racial tension is very evident in the Mountain State.

“We have some of the most disappointing racial disparities in the entire country here in West Virginia,” she said. “That’s what we’re trying to address and change.”

She said that one thing that “Call to Action” wants to address in the near future is the “over-representation of minorities in our juvenile system.”

The event also featured a drum performance by the East End Family Resource Center’s after school program.