Locals share personal stories of public harassment in first inte - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Locals share personal stories of public harassment in first intervention seminar

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

Almost 150 people packed the Browning Room at Evansville Central Library Thursday for the first seminar of its kind.

People came together to have a frank and open conversation about public harassment in our community, called the "Harassment Intervention Training" event.

The purpose was to have the conversation and to discuss how to act when you're the victim or a witness.

During the seminar, several people in the community took the mic to share their personal stories about harassment.

"You'd be surprised how many times I have to circle Walmart's parking lot to find a spot," said Andy Imlay, who talked about what he faces regularly as someone with a disability. 

Imlay is a chairman for the Evansville-Vanderburgh Advisory Board of Disability Services.

"This happened to me at work one time," Imlay explained. "A guy came in to get further clarification on stuff, and said, 'You didn't sound handicap over the phone. Is there somebody else who can help me?'  I said, 'Well no sir, you didn't sound short over the phone, either."

A woman from Colombia who has been an American citizen for 28 years also shared how she's faced hatred by being mistaken as Mexican.

"They don't understand that Hispanics, Latinos, whatever they want to call it, are not Mexicans. Not everybody is Mexican. They don't understand that 21 other countries speak Spanish. It's sometimes so sad," she explained.

Evansville's BRIDGE organization, Women in Faith, and the Evansville African American Museum sponsored the event.

Organizers said because of the large turnout, they'll hope to put on more workshops like it in the future.

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