The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Office of Diversity in partnership with the Huntsville Area Inclusive Community Initiative (HAICI) will host the public forum "Let's Start the Conversation Concerning Race Relations," at the UAH Charger Union Theater on Thursday, April 16, at 6 p.m.

The purpose of the community event is to promote mutual understanding, dignity, respect, and cooperation among all economic, ethnic, racial, religious, and social groups in the city of Huntsville. During the event clips, will be shown of the highly acclaimed 2014 documentary Mobile in Black and White, Race Relations in the 21st Century. "The panelists will use the documentary film as the starting point for a larger conversation on race and how to address the issues of racial inequality," said Delois H. Smith, vice president of the UAH Office of Diversity and Ethics. Guest panelists will include:

  • Aladin Beshir (Chairman) — City of Huntsville Human Relations Commission
  • Bhavani Kakani (President) — AshaKiran, A Ray of Hope
  • Captain Jes Henry Malone (Support Services Commander) — Huntsville Police Department
  • David Person (Media Consultant) WEUP Talk Radio and USA Today Board of Contributors
  • Dr. Clarke Rountree (Department Chairman and Professor) — UAH Department of Communication Arts
  • SSRA James (Jim) Russell (Senior Supervisory Resident Agent) — FBI Huntsville Resident Agency

Mobile in Black and White, Race Relations in the 21st Century takes a look at the many ways racism continues to pervade the structures and institutions of a seemingly post-racial world. The film was directed by Dr. Robert Gray, manager of The University of South Alabama Faculty Development Innovation Learning Center. Gray earned a Ph.D., in Instructional Technology from The University of Alabama.

Launched in 2009, HAICI, a program of the National League of Cities, was coordinated for Huntsville's Human Relations Commission and Office of Multi-cultural Affairs by Rev. Frank Broyles and Rhonda Broyles. The project is launching practical ways to help the city meet the goals set by the 2009 Inclusive Community resolution approved by the Huntsville City Council. Huntsville is one of 196 cities nationwide and one of five in Alabama to accept the initiative's challenge. The forum panel will consist of campus and community leaders.



Joyce Anderson-Maples