MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Throughout Macon-Bibb Wednesday, community members and leaders put issues throughout city, “On the Table.”
Nearly 5,000 people participated in Macon-Bibb’s first On the Table.
On the Table is the start of a dialogue for the community to use to improve gaps. Although, On the Table isn’t a new program, this is Macon-Bibb’s first session. The Knight Foundation Macon wants Macon to see change with the initiative.
“It’s not just a black person problem, not just a white person problem, every problem affects everybody,” LJ Malone with #MaconPeace said.
On the Table brought people together with food and good conversation.
“People come together, sit across the table from people that normally won’t get together and be able to express their opinion. It will only help heal the divides that exist in our community now,” Knight Foundation Macon Councilman Charles Olson said.
The initiative is in effort to bridge gaps in Macon-Bibb.
“Racially, class wise, gender wise, generational,” Malone said.
Community Foundation of Central Georgia Director Kathryn Dennis, says over 500 people hosted on the table. Inviting friends and community leaders to come up with solutions to problems.
“Certainly set the tone for those involved on the outside of government. Ultimately, it’s going to take the people who are in power, in government, to actually step forward and be willing to make changes, be fiscally responsible, and address the needs of the community,” Olson said.
Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Virgil Watkins’ sit down came up with ideas to improve criminal justice outcomes.
“A lot of times those neighborhood watches are receiving reports from the county as to what’s happening in their community. In terms of crime and just being vigilant, but how they can actually play a part in the prevention piece,” Watkins said.
Olson’s meeting spoke on ways to break the cycle of poverty.
“Discuss things like the budget in Macon-Bibb, access to food, access to transportation,” Olson said.
Those who participated in On the Table will submit surveys. The Knight Foundation will send those to a data analyst that will compile the findings. Results will come in January, so the community can starting bringing solutions to fruition.