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says Lymon. “(They want) to do better individually as well as for the organization. “Most of our workshops have been with people that are not of color, because they want to do the work. They want to understand. They want to figure out what’s going on in the world and how they can help play a part in making it better.” A key component in Lymon’s plans for SHARE is working with youth, since she believes that educating kids from a young age on racial equity will lead to positive lasting change in future generations. She hopes to partner with Kalamazoo Public Schools and other area institutions and organizations to do that education, which includes information about the community’s racial heritage. “That is what SHARE is for me — using this platform to help inform people about history and take that history of what has already happened to better understand where we are right now and then where we can go in the future,” she says.

Meet Chianté Lymon What: A free ice cream social and meet–and–greet with live entertainment as well as remarks by Lymon on plans for the local Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE) When: 2–5 p.m. Sept. 19 Where: Mayors Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St. For Lymon, collaborating with SHARE’s staff, consultants and board members, meeting people in the community, and being educated on a lot of history herself have been the highlights of her new position. She collaborated with The Gilmore to organize SHARE’s first Juneteenth celebration on June 19. It included a performance by Minor

For This

Element, a local instrumental jazz fusion band, and recognition of racial equity achievements in the community. Lymon says she will continue to promote SHARE’s mission, which was established under Odom’s leadership: to promote racial equity, foster connections in the community, provide education on racial heritage and awareness of racism, and help others understand how they can play their part in solving racial inequities. “My goal is to further the agenda of social justice, with an emphasis on racial equity,” she says. “I believe that we have to understand and explore the historical racism that has taken place and it is imperative that we uplift lived experiences. “I believe that Kalamazoo has come a long way, as many others have, but still has a long way to go. We have to dismantle historical systems that have kept people of color oppressed.”

Exact Moment

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