UCSC hosts first 'Good Neighbor' community
forum May 12
By Jennifer McNulty
The first in a series of Good Neighbor Forums sponsored
by UCSC will take place Thursday, May 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. in
the Multipurpose Room at Harbor High School. The topic of the
discussion, which is open to all members of the university and
town community, will be the promotion of tolerance and a safe
atmosphere in the public spaces of our diverse community.
From beaches and parks to public school campuses and downtown
sidewalks, public spaces are designed to be welcoming to all.
Do we, as a community, ensure that all our public spaces are
used and enjoyed by everyone? This gathering will provide a
forum for discussion and an opportunity to address the question,
What is needed to make individuals feel safe and comfortable
in public spaces around Santa Cruz?
Featured speakers will address different aspects of the issue.
UCSC sociology professor John Brown Childs will discuss his
vision of how groups can preserve their uniqueness while engaging
across race, class, and gender, and former Santa Cruz mayor
Scott Kennedy will discuss ways to diffuse potentially volatile
situations. School and local government officials, as well as
local residents and representatives of the university and community
organizations, are encouraged to attend.
The event is being presented by the UCSC Good Neighbor Initiative,
which was launched last fall to build and maintain better relations
with the Santa Cruz community. UCSC undergraduates Kristen Townsend
and Anthony Tucci are directing the initiative under the auspices
of the campus's Office of Government and Community Relations.
The Santa Cruz Community Good Neighbor Advisory Board is a network
of people working to increase discussion about what it means
to be good neighbors in a community that cares about its citizens.
We've heard from students of color on campus and from
some students at local high schools who say they avoid certain
places because they feel unsafe or unwelcome, said Donna
Blitzer, director of the Office of Government and Community
Relations. We want to provide a forum for information
sharing and brainstorming, so we can collaborate on ways to
make our community more welcoming and comfortable for everyone.
Participants are encouraged to share their experiences with
exclusion and inclusion in the community and to offer input
regarding changes they would like to see.
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