Community

A panel of nine Temple community leaders will discuss their views on the history and the path forward for civil rights during a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night.

The town hall, hosted by the Temple unit of the NAACP, will feature panelists talking about how civil rights and police violence have reached the point to where they are and what can be done now to address the issues. Questions from the audience will be taken afterward.

Temple NAACP President Bennie Walsh said he had wanted to host the town hall so people would not go back to being complacent like many other instances over outrage on civil rights issues.

“I believe one of the reasons we are at this point now is that we stopped talking about this issue,” Walsh said. “If you don’t keep the discussion on people’s minds, it is going to filter out and you are going to keep on having the same problems you have been having.”

The virtual town hall will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday night and is expected to continue until 8:30 p.m. unless the panelists are interested in continuing the conversation.

Each of the nine panelists will be given five minutes to speak on their vision of a path forward on these issues before answering and discussing questions. The questions being asked at the event will all have been previously sent in by viewers who have signed up for the event.

Panelists will include local pastors Joe Loughlin of First Baptist Church Temple, Willie Robertson of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Danny Cunningham of Temple Bible Church and Roy Rhodes from Impact Temple Church.

Community advocate Bryant Ward, IMPAC Outreach founder Rodney Duckett, Chinonyerem Okwara, a staff psychiatrist at Baylor Scott & White in Temple, and retired state District Judge Fancy Jezek will also be on the panel.

Walsh said the event is currently expecting to see at least 25 groups tune in, with multiple residents expected to be viewing from each group.

Those interested in tuning in for the town hall, which will be held on Zoom video conferencing, can sign up and submit questions by going to the group’s link https://mp.gg/zt2z3.