Civil rights group to discuss race relations in Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Race issues in the city of Toledo will be addressed on Tuesday. This as a local group wants to make sure the voices of those in the black community are heard and that the right people are hearing them.

That conversation will be had at the Frederick Douglas Community Center on Indiana Avenue but some believe the conversation has actually gone on for the last several years and some progress is being made. But there's certainly room for things to get better.

There are lots of positive things happening in Toledo but are all neighborhoods seeing that positivity?

The Community Solidarity Response Network believes more needs to be done, especially in parts like central city.

"It starts and ends with the public. We've got to demand more. There are many things we can do ourselves that we wait for others to do," said Washington Muhammad of the Community Solidarity Response Network.

Members of the group came together after the shooting of a black man in Ferguson Missouri by a white police officer in 2014. This network is an off shoot of the Black Lives Matter movement. The group says starting with the idea that racial prejudice still exists, dialogue in Toledo has increased.

"On an interpersonal level, we are talking to each other. I think we don't want to see these issues," said Julian Mack of the Community Solidarity Response Network.

Mack says the next step is meeting with institutions to address racial issues in places like law enforcement and the courts. That first step is Tuesday night at a forum for Toledo City Council members running in this year's election.

"There's definitely more of a dialogue because politicians are actually seeing, 'Oh this isn't something that's going to go away. This isn't something we can write off.’ So now we have to speak to people we have to be open,” said Jodie Summers of the Community Solidarity Response Network.

So where do some see Toledo when it comes to race relations?

"C minus," said Muhammad.

That’s progress made with work to go.

"The biggest part is in communication. Because at the end of the day we're all humans, we're all people,” said Summers.

That meeting will be held at 6pm at the Frederick Douglas Community Center. City Council candidates are expected to be here and the public is invited.