HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico County has dealt with isolated acts of racism recently, including graffiti at the Tuckahoe Little League Complex. This is one of the reasons the Board of Supervisors invited the community to Saturday's meeting.
"I want us as a community to, just like, get over this racism, and I want us to battle it," said Jui Piathane, a Henrico High School student. "I feel like we're not doing enough to combat it because we just think it's not there anymore."
Piathane presented an idea to the board. She cited programs, like DARE, which educate students on the dangers of drug and alcohol use. She pitched a similar program about race and diversity to educate kids directly and early on.
"If we have these organizations just to teach them, I feel it would do a load of a difference," Piathane said.
In a county that's becoming more racially diverse, census numbers show minorities make up more than 40 percent of the county's population. Board member Tyrone Nelson says the county needs to govern for that.
"Henrico is a melting pot, and so, we have to lead in that way, we have to serve our constituents in that way," said Nelson.
Another idea to serve more inclusively is to create a job for a diversity coordinator within the county.
"So you don't have to wait until something's on the news to have a conversation, so it's someone every day who lives and breathes diversity inclusion," Nelson said.
Supervisors say Saturday's engagement gives them hope.
"People think that it's all gone. Like with the passing of laws, that there's no racism or no sexism or no homophobia when like, that's the complete opposite. There's so much left we have to take care of," Piathane said.
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