Emanuel AME inspired event sparks debate over racial disparities

Panelists at the second annual Charleston Forum on June 21. (WCIV)

The events to honor the Mother Emanuel AME victims continued Thursday night.

The second Charleston Forum was held at Charleston Music Hall.

Every race, gender, and age were represented in the room. People listened and learned from each other.

The forum was about acknowledging the disparities—but more so putting words into action.

Google executive, Lilyn Hester, was among the many panelists to discuss the vast differences in economics.

According to a disparities report done by the College of Charleston, the average income of a white family in the Lowcountry is more than $64,000. For a black family, it’s just over $29,000.

Hester it’s one of the many reasons minorities are needed in the technology field.

“In the tech industry, there are more needs to have more women, more African Americans, more Latinos at the table," she said.

Hesters job is to bring technology to all.

"We are creating, like any other tech company, for everyone. Now in order to have a voice, you need to have people that look like you and me at the table.”

Michael B. Moore is the president of the International African-American Museum. A place he’s hoping will help reshape thoughts.

“I think psychology plays into this. I think young African-American children need to be able to look on the walls and see people who have contributed enormous things in this country and that look just like them," he said.

The forum also discussed the disparities in education.

Alana Simmons, the founder of the Hate Won’t Win movement spoke.

She said, “One of the things that I wished that would happen the most when I was in the class room was I could get more parental involvement.”

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