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NAACP SLO County hosts town hall on truth, civility, and reconciliation

Posted at 10:46 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 02:23:44-05

The San Luis Obispo County chapter of the NAACP held a town hall meeting Monday night discussing truth, civility, and reconciliation in civic and public life.

Getting involved in your community was a big focal point of Monday's meeting.

Panelists like San Luis Obispo City Council member and Vice Mayor Erica Stewart, stressed the importance of having a space where people feel safe to have a dialogue.

"So where is that space where we can let each other grow and take that self care and understanding and then at the same time, be willing to come back to the table and say: "Okay I'm ready to listen some more, I'm ready to grow some more?", Stewart questioned.

Stewart says being a part of San Luis Obispo's Equity Inclusion and Diversity Task Force was learning experience.

"There were some issues that had to have advocacy at school districts, or the state or federal level, or with different unions. There were a lot of things that as we talked about issues, it was so complicated that we said: "Okay, lets peel out what we can do and then move forward," Stewart explained.

Throughout the meeting, panelists fielded questions revolving around truth, civility, and reconciliation.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guerrero says the county has partnered with local organizations to improve our local criminal justice system using restorative justice.

"Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It's best accomplished through cooperative processes using all the stakeholders and it is thought this is what can lead to transformation of people, relationships, and communities," Guerrero explained.

For those looking to get involved in anything they may feel passionate about, panelists recommended starting by bringing a friend to a meeting or sending in emails to council meetings to still have your voice heard.

Stewart says Tuesday night the city council will be looking at approving its major city goals, with plans to move forward with strategies and tactics to make growth in equality measurable within the San Luis Obispo community.