Parent University holds ‘Real Talk, Data Walk’, presents data on racial disparities in Savannah

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Parent University brought the facts to the people Saturday in their Real Talk, Data Walk event.

The data walk consisted of a number of charts plastered throughout the Kingdom Life Gymnasium, showing data on topics like housing, health, education, economic mobility and other areas where racial disparities are present in the city of Savannah.

Attendees labeled graphs that stood out and were the most alarming to them, with their answers being collected by the Racial Equity and Leadership task force of Savannah.

“What we’re doing here is giving citizens a chance to see aggregated data displayed in various topics, so that it can help them with conversations about racial disparities, and they can be based on facts,” Michael O’Neal said.

The goal of the event was to empower citizens to become educated on the statistics that matter in Savannah.

“It informs people of the way they should talk about things. And this is so important, where it’s good to just have a conversation based on emotion, certainly, we should add elements to the conversation based on facts, so this helps these participants see the facts,” explained O’Neal.

Even taking into account the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic played on bringing inequalities to light.

“What the pandemic did was exasperate the disparities among the races and that’s what we want to highlight, and challenge our community to deal with,” said Dr. Otis Johnson, former Mayor of Savannah and Chair of the REAL Taskforce.

The feedback collected from today’s event will be published and presented to Savannah City Council next month, in hopes of improving the areas and people most affected by racial disparities.

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