Anyone can register for the event online at tinyurl.com/gcracism.
“We want white people to understand that they play a huge role in dismantling systematic racism,” said Kim McCarthy, founder of Greene County Voices, a Sugarcreek Twp. resident and former candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives.
These grassroots organizations have hundreds of involved members (most of them white) and collectively over two thousand people have liked their Facebook pages or joined their Facebook groups.
The population of Greene County is about 86% white and 7% Black while the U.S. population is about 76% white and 13% Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Some of these groups are in particularly homogeneous communities or areas of the county lacking in Black residents. The population of Bellbrook is over 95% non-Hispanic white, 2% Hispanic, 2% Black and 1% Asian. Beavercreek is about 86% non-Hispanic white, 6% Asian, 4% two or more races, 3% Hispanic and less than 3% Black.
At events like this one, organizers work to center the voices of people of color.
This sustained effort by the Dayton area’s residents, particularly its suburban and white residents, to fight for racial justice is “totally new,” said McCorry.
“It’s something that is now catching on across the nation,” he said. “This is really a new energy and a new effort … and it is something that is long past due. We’d like to believe that we’ve come far enough in this area and in this country that the racist acts don’t continue to happen (but that is not the case).”
McCorry and organizers hope May 22nd will be more than a one-time event but a community-building moment that sparks renewed reform efforts. Involved groups are already advocating in their municipalities for law enforcement reform, the passage of anti-hate resolutions by governments, inclusion of more diverse perspectives in school curriculum and more.