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Local & State

Gantt Center hosts program on police brutality, social injustice
'Unmasked' live streamed today at 6 p.m.
Published Wednesday, June 3, 2020 3:30 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture CEO and President David Taylor.

Social injustice is the biggest disparity of all.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture will host tonight its eighth virtual program on disparities impacting the black community. “Unmasked: We Can’t Breathe” will be streamed live on YouTube at 6 p.m. and moderated by QCity Metro founder Glenn Burkins. Panelists are Charlotte image activist and Gantt artist-in-residence Alvin Jacobs, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, U.S. Rep. Alma Adams and former South Carolina state representative and current CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers.

“The Gantt needs to be out in front on critical issues that face our community and being a voice for those issues and how we address those issues, while also providing a platform for people to amplify their voices,” Gantt CEO and President David Taylor said.

“Unmasked” was originally designed as an eight-week YouTube live series dealing with disparities as they pertained to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Taylor said it will extend beyond the original timeframe. They will use the series to discuss institutionalized racism, seek solutions and challenge others to be part of the solution.

“It’s important for the Gantt to carry those conversations and champion those conversations for change, for real change,” Taylor said. “When we look at what’s going on in our city right now, what’s going to be different? I don’t think anything will be different unless we double-down and push forward harder than ever. That’s where the Gantt’s role starts.”

Tonight’s conversation extends beyond the virus toward addressing unchecked policing of black people, which resulted in the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Protests began on May 29 in Charlotte and have taken place every day since. Taylor wants to see the people responsible for the system of oppression taking action. To be clear, he means white people have to step up to fix it.

“What I would love to see more of is voices and faces of those who have benefitted from this system of institutional racism,” Taylor said. “The white community that has benefitted from racism and still sits at the table of privilege, they created the system. They’re going to have to be out front to help solve it. They can’t be silent. They can’t send a few dollars and think that’s a solution. Our corporate community has to step forward in ways they haven’t before. Their leaders have to be there, and not just write nice memos. It’s important for them to be marching on the street. It’s important for them to demonstrate within their corporations ways of compassion to affect change, because they too hold the power and the influence.”

For more information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unmasked-we-cant-breathe-tickets


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