Events Honoring George Floyd and Others to Be Held Over the Weekend of May 22 in Southern Illinois | Local News
While the way police interact with minority communities has again come under close scrutiny, a review of regional police racial demographics shows that many southern Illinois law enforcement agencies have a long way to go to reflect the communities they serve.
The most recent incident that caught local attention was comments allegedly made by Marion Track coach Sara Baker. She reportedly called Amari, 15, a “third world barefoot black African” on April 21, according to Amari and her family.
Maxwell said this situation would not be resolved by firing someone, an action the district school board was pressed to take. She said increasing diversity training along with more emphasis on diversity in hiring is more likely to get things done.
“These, for me, would be more permanent solutions,” Maxwell said.
Although the organizing sponsors are all local, Maxwell said a grant from the Healing Illinois initiative has been of significant help. Healing Illinois is a racial healing initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services, according to its website. Healing Illinois is working in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust to distribute $ 4.5 million in grants to organizations statewide to begin or continue racial healing work.
Matthew Wilson, one of the organizers of the Southern Illinois Unity Coalition, said that while Carbondale did not have his own George Floyd case, vigilance is still crucial.
“It’s important to remember this locally because these types of situations can happen anywhere,” he said.