The 10-4 Corporation held another forum to help create dialogue within the community. 10-4 is a human rights organization, focused on “bringing divided societies together.”

Saturday they held a forum regarding the State of Black Alabama. It’s the second of such events in Tuscaloosa within the past few months. President and CEO Ransey O’Daniel said forums like these are conversation starters.

“It’s dialogue and dialogue creates good discussion and it also helps people to be aware on what’s going on in the community,” he said.

Founder of Mind Changers Rodney Pelt Sr. was part of the two panel discussion, and said being informed is power.

“I believe that its so integral that we inform our people on what’s going on in politics, in education, in community activities, an informed people is a progressive people” said Pelt.

Topics included mental health and voting rights, among others.

State Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa said wants to see a higher turnout among Alabama’s voters in the next elections — especially among local elections.

“Recently we had a municipal election in Tuscaloosa where only 15 percent of the voting population in Tuscaloosa actually voted,” England said. “So voter apathy is a real issue, so just trying to figure out different ways to get people to the polls, to get people to register, to get engaged, get active, become informed and become voters.”

England believes knowledge is the best tool to create change.

“The most important thing is to get informed,” England said. “Once you figure out what drives you, what motivates you, use that motivation to actually put it in to action.”

Event-goers said finding out what resources exist around Tuscaloosa was more than enough reason to attend.

“What came out of today that I thought was really interesting, that there are some mentorship programs, some organizations that are doing good things about bringing people together,” said resident Nia Duggins.

England said he believes these forums are a great platform.

“We should be able to walk away from these events and grow our community, I mean grow it politically, spiritually, grow it through relationships, so we can actually begin to create a platform that moves forward and changes our conditions” said England.

And at the end of the day, we’re all human,” Pelt said.

Categories: Archives, Local News