In a 2017 article in The Undefeated by Lonnae O’Neal, American historian and author, Ibram X. Kendi said, “You can be someone who has no intention to be racist,” who believes in and fights for equality, “but because you’re conditioned in a world that is racist and a country that is structured in anti-black racism, you yourself can perpetuate those ideas”. No matter what color you are.
We have spent the last six weeks listening, learning, reflecting, and introspecting. We wanted to make a statement that means something and put action behind it, without rushing, so we can see it through thoughtfully. Visit Grove City serves as the destination marketing organization for our area. Our mission is to create economic impact by promoting and developing the Grove City area as a great place to stay, play, live, and work – this mission serves ALL people. The essence of our brand, Altogether Adventure®, emphasizes the importance of inclusion in our community; we have adventurous opportunities for everyone. We welcome and respect people of all races, sexual orientations, cultures, ages, abilities, and genders.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
The only way to make real change is to understand one another, to dive deeply into someone else’s perspective as we [the nation] work to heal hundreds of years of injustice. We want to be a catalyst for change in our community and in the world. Visit Grove City will create a platform for dialogue between community members, business owners, community leaders, and visitors to our area so we can learn together and help usher in true change.
In order to be a catalyst for this change, we will host a series of intimate, virtual “fireside chats” to which we will invite a small, diverse group of individuals to represent the aforementioned categories. Each session will include a “sharer”, who will share a personal story about their experience, followed by moderated group discussion. Each “fireside chat” will include different participants to ensure we are inclusive and we reach as many community members as possible.
The goal of fireside chats is to identify potential action items individuals, businesses, and leaders can do to make real change in our community and in the world.
If you are interested in participating in a “fireside chat” as either a “sharer” or group participant, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject “fireside chat”.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Speak up! We implore you to engage in conversations about racial inequities around the dinner table, on your next family zoom chat, and with your neighbors and friends. We hope you will join us in educating yourself about the experiences of black neighbors, friends, and business owners. Make extra effort to read media and books authored by black Americans to gain perspective of their experience in this country. Please don’t stop there, continue to gain perspective by learning about the challenges faced by all races, sexual orientations, cultures, ages, abilities, genders, and other groups. We should not turn our heads or close our minds, but shine a light on the dark places as we listen and learn.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Don’t forget to join us at one of our future “fireside chats”. Look for dates posted to our website soon.
We are gathering a list to make it easy for you to support local black-owned businesses in Grove City. We will continue to develop this list along with a list of minority-owned businesses. Stay tuned to our website for details. To have your business included in either list, please email us.
Grove City is known for Altogether Adventure®, togetherness is at the core of our brand and community value proposition. This togetherness is not just for our visitors, it is for our community. When any member of our community is hurting, we all hurt. Now is the time to come together to uplift, love, and support one another as we work through the painful past to heal the future. Together we can make a change. How are we going to get there? We’re going to get there altogether.