Town Hall planned on ‘Race, Justice, Community and Policing’

Lakeshore Public Media host Garrard McClendon poses a question to Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas at "Race, Justice, Community, and Policing," a town hall discussion at Valparaiso University in November.

Lakeshore Public Media and NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse will hold a third town hall meeting on "Race, Justice, Community and Policing," this time in Michigan City.

“Our goal is to have a true dialogue with the community and with government officials and law enforcement,” Lakeshore Public Media President and CEO James Muhammad stated. “It is an opportunity to engage in conversations that challenge assumptions and improve understanding across the board in order to move Northwest Indiana forward collectively.”

The discussion between citizens, law enforcement, government officials and community group representatives will take place from 6  to 8 p.m. April 11 in the auditorium of Michigan City High School, 8466 W. Pahs Road.

Garrard McClendon, host of the public affairs show "CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon," will moderate the talk about race, fair policing and potential solutions.

“This is a community conversation to start the process of clearly identifying the challenges we face," McClendon said. "We need to explore the perceptions that people have on all sides of the topic which is instrumental to leading us to a better understanding.”

Panelists include Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer, LaPorte County Prosecuting Attorney John Espar, LaPorte Police Department Assistant Police Chief Julie Smith, IUN sociology professor and ACLU Indiana Board member Kevin McElmurry, Wesley Scully of the LaPorte County NAACP and LaPorte County Juvenile Services Center Executive Director Erika Stallworth.

Parts of the discussion will later air on "CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon." The public is welcome to attend.

“We are looking for a civil discussion in which we need to hear multiple points of view, so we want to hear questions from people that represent our diverse communities,” McClendon said.

If interested in going, register in advance at laportecountytownhall.eventbrite.com.


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.