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UK's MLK Center Holds Discussion on Ferguson

Chase Cavanaugh

In light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, a University of Kentucky organization recently held a community discussion on police discrimination. 

Hundreds of students packed themselves into the small ballroom of UK’s Student Center Wednesday night.  Guided by the University’s Martin Luther King Center, they discussed systemic racism against African Americans by police, particularly the use of deadly force.  Director Kahlil Baker says with the recent developments regarding Michael Brown and Darren Wilson, the community discussion was necessary. 

“The collective feeling that I’ve got or that’s been shared with me from students is that it needed to happen.  There are a lot of emotions that students have about this incident and the things that it connects to,” he said.

Students broke into small groups to discuss the root causes of this racism, how to educate others in the community, and ways for police and cities to prevent these incidents.  Baker was pleased with the diverse attendance, including a non-black group he overheard discussing how to confront their own racial prejudices.

By the end of the event, participants expressed their desire to both reach out to the community and hold these types of discussion on a regular basis.