On Tuesday, October 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Peace Park, District 1 City Councilor Lydia Edwards will host another discussion about race and equity.
The discussion is part of an ongoing series to address race and equity in Charlestown and Boston and Edwards has already hosted seventeen talks over the past 19 months.
“So we’ve been doing this for 19 months and we’ve not missed a month,” said Edwards. “We do our best to bring people together in Charlestown, of all ages, all races, all backgrounds, to talk about race or equity.”
Edwards said the discussion series evolved from talking in depth about the police after the George Floyd killing to talking with the police about the opioid crisis to talking about hate towards Asian Americans in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
“We had a whole conversation dedicated to Asian American history and the anti-Asian hate that was happening, because of the blaming for the pandemic,” said Edwards. “So, when we talk about that, we’re really not just talking about what’s wrong with other people, but also our own growth. Participants have been very honest and have admitted that they used to think one way, but think differently today.”
Edwards said the series has drawn people from all walks of life in Charlestown from conservatives to liberal. One gentleman, she said, recently said that while his views and personality were still a bit more conservative than others he felt welcomed and appreciated the opportunity to express his viewpoints.
“You know we have a lot of people who grew up in Charlestown, in a different world than how the neighborhood is now, and who admit in their youth they use vocabulary and words that are just really not accessible today. They talk about their growth and I think that’s really important for young people to see that people are willing to change in life because you’re going to grow in this life. It’s important to learn how to talk through that with people who disagree with you. It is a very important life skill and I believe not enough young people, or people today are developing that because we’re not, oftentimes, having real conversation in social media because we’re really kind of talking at each other and not at each other.
Edwards said healing takes time but she was honored to use her political position to lead in a different way.
“That’s really the point of this series is having a forum where we learn to listen to each other,” said Edwards.