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The Black Academy of Arts and Letters’ Roundtable Writer’s Breakfast features dialogue on race

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By Shemetra Thomas – Dallas South News Contributor

With a population of over 1.2 million people Dallas, Texas is as diverse as it is progressive with citizens hailing from across the nation and around the world.  No matter where they may have started, Dallas is where they call home. On January 10th citizens of Dallas and elected officials gathered at “The King’s Table” for the Roundtable Writer’s Breakfast “Building Towards a More Perfect Union…An Open Dialogue Between African-Americans and Anglo-Americans”.

Writer's Roundtable Breakfast

Writer's Roundtable Breakfast

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters founder and president Curtis King sponsored an open discussion about race relations in the city. This was part three in a five part series aimed at impact our local society.

Mayor Tom Leppert as well as Senator Royce West joined the discussion along with other community leaders, business owners and citizens from all across North Texas. There were different expectations of what this meeting of minds would produce. Although there were a few concerns over racial tensions within the city, the dialogue focused more on building a safer, economically stable city.

Mayor Tom Leppert and TBAAL President Curtis King

Mayor Tom Leppert and TBAAL President Curtis King

Dallas has seen its share of racial tension in the past. Issues such as racial profiling, disproportionate economic development and education were among the central topics. There were also those expressed a desire to see more racial diversification in hiring, and a call for similar meetings to be held.

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Mayor Leppert informed those in attendance of the great strides that the city is taking to boost economic growth in Southern Dallas and the city’s support of developing and established business. Southern Dallas has often been left out of key economical opportunities in the past, but the last few years have seen advancements in areas such as the Bishop Arts District. The University of North Texas System at Dallas campus is also expected to stimulate the economy in the south.

Mayor Leppert also pointed to progress (progress???) at Southwest Center Mall. Senator West and Mayor Leppert let those in attendance know that Dallas has been the chief beneficiary of a 60 million dollar government subsidy aimed at boosting film production in the Dallas area.

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Senator West spoke of steps he had taken to curb racial profiling a hot button issue among citizens of Dallas. Sen. Royce West remembered sage advice from his grandfather, “You judge yourself by your intentions. Others judge you by your actions.” Citizens of Dallas are poised for growth and positive action.

SShemetra Thomashametra L. Thomas is a Dallas area business owner and advocate. You may contact Shametra by logging on to www.shametrathomas.com or by email at streinventing@aol.com.

Photos by Dallas South Contributor Byron K. Watters of 3D Sports Visuals.

Edited by Shawn Williams

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