Rock Hill church to host forum in response to Missouri shooting, unrest

08/20/2014 6:26 PM

08/20/2014 6:28 PM

A Rock Hill church is hosting a community forum Friday – with police, political and clergy leaders – to talk about how to make sure interaction between young people and police here does not escalate into the type of violence that has erupted in Missouri.

Speakers at the “Save our Children” forum at 6 p.m. Friday at New Mount Olivet AME Zion Church will include City Councilwoman Sandra Oborokumo, Rock Hill Police Capt. Rod Stinson, South Pointe High School Principal Al Leonard, pastors and others.

“What we want to address is how we, as a community, can have a discussion about what we all can do as citizens on behalf of all our children,” said the Rev. Maurice Harden, senior pastor at New Mount Olivet, which organized the event.

The recent violence in Ferguson, Mo., has shown that simmering problems between the community and police – long known in cities such as Chicago – can be brought to a full boil by a single incident, Harden said. The forum is not solely for Rock Hill’s black community, he said, but for all people.

The forum is at the same time as the Northwestern High School football game across town, but Harden said the need to have the forum and to serve the needs of all young people is important.

“We support our athletes,” he said, “yet we have to support all our students and young people, because this issue affects all of our children.”

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