When protests erupted after the death of George Floyd last May in Minneapolis, a national conversation started regarding the relationship between police departments and the neighborhoods they serve. Many of these protests were based around feelings that bias and racism were rampant within police departments and the criminal justice system including the court system, education, employment and the retail sector of our society.
Although a predominately white community, the City of Springboro felt it was important to encourage residents to have conversations with neighbors, friends and strangers to try to understand issues of bias, prejudice and race at a personal level. Consistent with that goal, the City has actively sought ways to encourage community-wide conversations among our residents.
On February 5, 2021, the City of Springboro, Division of Police, will facilitate a panel discussion about race and living in the year 2021 beginning at 7 p.m. at Southwest Church, 150 Remick Blvd. Participants include Jerry Ferris, a 40-year resident and at one time, one of the only African Americans to live in Springboro who currently serves as president of the Warren County Veterans Services Commission; Ronald D. (R.D.) Caldwell, Mr. Natural Universe, who has reached the pinnacle of his sport of bodybuilding and works extensively with youth and adults within our correctional system; Terry Hardin, Chaplain for the West Carrollton Police Department, and Rev. Alan Foster, who was born and raised in rural Georgia and runs Grace Ministries, a holistic ministry of feeding people, clothing people, and arranging child care, in the West Dayton area.
The discussion will be facilitated by Springboro Police Chief Jeff Kruithoff, a 48-year veteran of law enforcement in both Michigan and Ohio, and a former instructor of Racial Diversity and Interpersonal Communications at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan. “Each of these panelists has a tremendous story to share, and will speak to how their race has not defined them,” said Kruithoff. "I have found that talking to people is the best way to understand each other, and am hopeful that the City of Springboro can be a catalyst toward conversations among its residents about race, bias, and healing."
Seating is limited and facial coverings are required. The event will be available to watch live via the City’s website, ci.springboro.oh.us, and on the City’s Facebook page. In addition, the program will be taped for viewing at a later date.
For more information call 937-748-0611.