BRISTOL â€“ Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services, the Bristol Mayorâ€™s Office and the Bristol Eliminating Substance Use Together coalition are partnering to hold the second annual Community Conversation.
The event will take place in Rockwell Parkâ€™s amphitheatre, Aug. 4 between 5 to 7:30 p.m.
City officials have said the event is meant to serve as a forum of awareness to discuss issues of inclusion, diversity and equity from the various peoples of Bristol, her businesses, residents and historically excluded community members. The hope of the event is to foster a greater discussion around community inequity, education and police accountability and to include local resources, stakeholders and service providers.
â€śIn order to ensure the best decision-making for our city moving forward,â€ť said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu,â€ť we need residents to get involved. We want to hear multiple viewpoints and have greater understanding of how we can support residents when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion concerns, challenges, opportunities and aspirations for the City of Bristol.â€ť
Officials in the past have said the first Community Conversation had in part been sparked by the national conversations surrounding the death of George Floyd.
â€śWe value the cityâ€™s diversity and pride ourselves on being a welcoming community,â€ť said Bristol Parks, Recreation, Youth and Community Services Superintendent Dr. Joshua Medeiros. â€śAll community members should have access to city services, influence city policy and direction, and feel a sense of belonging and safety within Bristol.â€ť
Food trucks are slated to be present for the beginning of the event and the first 160 participants can receive a free food voucher and Community Conversation t-shirt. After opening statements, primary stakeholders will participate in round table-style conversations with visitors. Feedback from community members is intended to inform the Bristol Public Schools Board of Education, Bristol Diversity Council and Bristol Police Department around issues important to diversity, equity and inclusion for those who live and work in the area.
â€śI think itâ€™s really important that the community has a space where they can be heard and have access to city leaders and organizations,â€ť said BPRYCS DEI Committee co-chair and Youth and Family Coordinator Kyana Anderson. â€śThe City of Bristol has so many resources that are available and bringing many of them together in one space is so important.â€ť
Participants are encouraged to bring their own chair as while there is seating at the amphitheatre it may become full.
Should there be rain; the event will be held at the Bristol Public Library. All are welcomed to the event.