Daytona Beach, FL - The first listening session of Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry's Equity Initiative today (July 8) heard from members of the black community and the white community on how we could become one community.
As many as 30 local business owners, both black and white, took part in the conversation through a virtual webinar.
Mainland High School's new principal, Joseph Castelli, said he wanted to be part of the conversation because he's new to the area and he wants to make Mainland's connection to the community stronger. Castelli said he'd like to get community partners involved to help build equity for students in the community. "If our kids can actually start building road maps in their head of what it takes to build and be a productive business owner or influencer in our community, I think that's a big piece of, not necessarily we're missing, but we could be much more intentional about."
Gerald Chester, President and CEO of Central Florida Community Development Corporation, said he's been investing in the Mid-town neighborhood for close to 20 years, having built more than 30 homes over the years. "Right now, we're not looking at equity in our policies, in our communities that are depressed and pretty much broken and if you want to begin to do that, I think we have to make a conscious effort to make that happen. Create wealth for some of these minority and black businesses so that they will reinvest in their neighborhoods and that will happen."
More listening sessions are scheduled this week. You can find the information and how to register for any or all of them at codb.us All sessions are being recorded so if you can't listen live, they will be available on the city of Daytona Beach's website.
The next listening session for business and media is scheduled for July 20.