SFA OMA hosts town hall meeting discussing Ferguson

Published: Feb. 27, 2015 at 3:15 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2015 at 4:06 AM CST
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Three months ago, the streets of Ferguson, MS, were consumed with dangerous riots over the death of an unarmed black teen by a police officer.

Today the Stephen F. Austin State University Office of Multicultural Affairs wanted to make sure that the events of Ferguson weren't swept under the rug.

"What's happening today is that we are creating dialogue," said OMA Director Dr. Osaro Airen.

Airen invited Missouri State Representative Courtney Allen Curtis to openly discuss his experience with the social unrest in Ferguson.

"A lot of times, when anything happens in the world, if any type of unrest happens, we talk about it real quickly and then we stop," explained Airen. "We want to create that dialogue and purposefully we made sure that we had all age groups in this room."

After an intimate introduction, Curtis moved to speak to a larger crowd including students, university staff, and East Texas community members.

During Cutis' open discussion he went into some deep thinking questions.

"How many people think that things will largely go unchanged?" asked Curtis.

He was most surprised to see the number of hands that rose when he asked if an event like Ferguson will happen again.

The representative did his best to explain what he saw during that time of unrest.

"Some of the things that we deal with are based off of personal experiences, rather than how things are normally handled," said Curtis.

Those in his audience, seemed to appreciate his time this evening.

"I think it went great," said SFA History Professor Court Carney. "He seems very energetic. I think there are some good ideas that came out of that. I think that when we are looking at young people, I think that the 'empathy' piece is so important."

Cutis explains that it is up to each individual to continue moving forward in order to make a better world for our future.

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