By: Kent Oyler, President & CEO of
Healing the racial
divide that has so polarized parts of our city and our nation will take
commitment, perseverance and a whole lot of compassion. This divide, born out of cynicism, mistrust
and neglect, didn’t open up overnight, and it won’t be closed quickly.
requires us to first become closer; taking the time to understand and
appreciate each other. Suspicion and stereotyping
haven’t taken us anywhere positive in the past and won’t in the future.
I urge the
business leaders in Louisville, to
recognize the economic inequities that split our community by race, including
the physical divide of Ninth Street. This
sustained inequity holds our entire city back from greater economic and civic success.
It is a sticking point, and one that must not wait for another generation to
We will never
heal what separates us until we view ourselves as one community, both
culturally and economically. Not East or
West, but one vibrant, safe, healthy, flourishing, Louisville.
possible to simply snap our fingers and change our reality. One day of racial healing will not get us
there. But there is always a first day and this can
be our starting point..
It is going
to take daily EFFORT to understand and support each other and to create
economic prosperity in parts of our city that haven’t seen it in decades. The
first step is to get over the discomfort of addressing tough truths and
entrenched stereotypes by listening and learning from each other.
can develop the best plan forward for our entire community. So starting today let’s collectively decide
to take the time to reach out, listen and learn. May we commit to that?