BY ISN STAFFJanuary 22, 2016

CINCINNATI, OH — Xavier University will host a Town Hall meeting on February 2, 2016 to promote reflection on where the Cincinnati community stands 15 years after the civil unrest and riots of April 2001 and the city’s future.

The interactive panel discussion is titled, “Fifteen Years Later: The Cincinnati Riots and the Future of the City.” It will be moderated by Donna Jones Baker, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Urban League and include a welcome from former Mayor Charlie Luken and remarks from panelists Al Gerhardstein, the Rev. Damon Lynch, III, Cpt. Maris Herold and Iris Roley.

The theme is how to create a more equitable and healthy Cincinnati, focusing on community-based policing and economic inclusion. Panelists, community members and students will also discuss the Collaborative Agreement and its goal of community-based problem solving and how it has emerged as a national model. The Town Hall is part of our Ethics Religion & Society series “Imagining the Good: Community, Equality, Environment.”

“Fifteen Years Later: The Cincinnati Riots and the Future of the City” will be a culminating, public Town Hall following a series of events planned for current Xavier students, who were mostly very young children in 2001. These events include meetings with Xavier President Michael Graham, S.J., Judge Susan J. Dlott, who oversaw the Collaborative Agreement, and a screening of the documentary Cincinnati Goddamn. On March 1, the Town Hall series concludes with a musical piece about 2001, The Armed Man 2016.

Fr. Graham, who became president of Xavier just four months before the April 2001 riots, played a key role in the City’s healing as a member of the Community Action Now (CAN) Commission. He will participate in the dialogue about the riots, subsequent Collaborative Agreement, how Xavier was impacted and what we’ve learned and where we’re going with regard to race and inclusion issues, both at Xavier and as a city.

“Xavier University is deeply dedicated to equity and diversity. We believe they are fundamental to our academic, as well as Jesuit Catholic mission,” said Graham. “2001 was a time that both divided and brought us together. It’s important that we learn from history and never become complacent in truly living our commitment to acceptance, respect, solidarity and love for one another.”

The “Fifteen Years Later: The Cincinnati Riots and the Future of the City” Town Hall is free and open to the public.

Xavier University is one of more than 80 university, high school, and parish institutional members of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

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