North Liberty leaders hold listening session on racial equity

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 4:18 PM CDT
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NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - People in North Liberty gathered Saturday to discuss social justice and racial equity in that community. It’s part of a series of listening posts set to happen the rest of the week.

People want to do more and they don’t know where to start,” said North Liberty City Council Member Raquishia Harrington.

Harrington said following the death of George Floyd and the growing Black Lives Matter Movement, her community is ready for change.

“They want to hear stories. Often times, hearing those stories is kind of like a wake-up, a reality, of oh my gosh that’s happening in my neighborhood, in my community, I know those people,” she said.

The series of community listening sessions are meant to highlight the racial injustices that exists, but also to gather information city leaders can use to make the community more equitable for people of color.

“We want North Liberty to be ahead of the game, not to be reactive to things, but already have things in places so we won’t ever have to have a situation where George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the list can go on, but so we won’t ever have a situation like that,” she said.

Quincy Jagnow is a 17-year-old who lives in North Liberty. He said he showed up to share his experience as a young person of color in town.

“Change starts with us, it starts with knowledge and I think I have a perspective to provide to my community, and the world and my country,” he said.

He said he was hoping to find common ground with others, but also to explain racism exists, even if you don’t see it first-hand.

“I think the importance is me, myself and Mr. Brown (another resident at the event) getting up and being like, this happens here and this happens to all of us. You don’t see it because you don’t live it, but it happens just as much here,” Jagnow said.

He said taking about those experiences may seem small, but can have a big impact.

“It’s a matter of life or death, really. One changed mind, changes another mind and that just so happens to be the police officer that would have knelt on my neck,” he said.

More listening posts are planned for both online and in-person, you can learn more here.

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