Group aims to bridge gaps across race, wealth and geography in Louisville

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 12:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A series of cross-town meetings in Louisville has been set with the goal of bridging the gaps across race, wealth and geography in the city.

The hope Thursday at Churchill Downs was that a meeting there would facilitate a conversation across all walks of life and serve as a catalyst for a long-overdue healing process.

James Linton and the Community Connections Group have had these Power Diversity Series meetings before. In fact, they’ve been doing them for six years.

“The purpose of the diversity series is to get people to greet each other, respect each other and to love each other,” Linton said.

Recently though, these meetings have been different, especially following a tumultuous 2020.

After the police killing of Breonna Taylor, the divide between different communities in the city seemingly grew.

Back in September 2020, protests surrounded Churchill Downs. There were calls to cancel the Kentucky Derby, displaying a fragile relationship between Louisville’s signature event and the communities that support it.

Now though, Taylor’s mother said she believes the fact that Churchill is willing to have these difficult discussions is a step toward healing.

“It’s promising,” Tamika Palmer said, “and it gives you hope that we’re willing to have that conversation, willing to sit down with people, and be able to bridge that gap.”

Churchill Downs President Mike Anderson said these are conversations they need to have.

“The Derby is successful only because of this community and its people,” Anderson said. “It’s important we listen to the people and what their needs are.”

Palmer added that there’s still plenty of back-and forth to be had.

“I hope to see a bunch more of these,” Palmer said, “and see people continuing to come together and make these things happen.”

If you’d like to get involved with the Community Connections Group, whether it be by becoming a community partner or helping their efforts to feed families across Louisville, you can learn more here.

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