Race Relations Forum focuses on education

Race Relations Forum focuses on education (Photo: Kirsten Gutierrez/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One New Hanover County graduate is spearheading her second forum to shed light on race relations across the Port City. The forum, hosted by Mina Yakubu, quickly shaped its focus on the classroom.

“Talk about action, and what we can do in hopes of improving race relations in Wilmington. And so be it, through discussion it drew to education which is extremely something that I’ve had a lot of experience in,” Yakubu said.

Yakubu hosted the event to see how those who grew up in the area view racial relations today.

“The first thing that I have taken away from the forum is that people do want to talk,” Pastor, Clifford Barnett said. “They do want to talk about race relations and at times it sounds as if people are angry. You know, because they’re very passionate about what they’ve lived, passionate about what they felt, passionate about what they had to go through.”

People began brainstorming ideas on what can be done in the community to help kids of all races get the best education they can.

“But also preparing teachers to deal with this new culture,” Barnett said. “Kids are different now and unfortunately a lot of people who are my age, 60 and above, we remember what it was like when we were growing up.”

Many who attended the forum say kids do not show the same respect they used to and one way community members are hoping to change that is by getting more involved.

“Just being present within the schools and making sure that students know that you’re there to support them in any way that they would need. And just being an example for students to look up to,” Yakubu said.

Aside from volunteering, another suggestion is to have better communication within the community.

“I think the idea is get to know your neighbor. Get to know the people around the corner,” Barnett said. “Get to know the mailman. Get to know the guy that washes your car. Get to know the people that go to school with your children. I think if you do that you build a better world.”

Yakubu is heading to the University of Chapel Hill at the end of the month, she plans on double majoring in African American Studies and Political Science.

Yakubu wants the forums to continue and hopes if she is unable to host them that people in the community will keep them going.

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