'There’s so much more work to be done’: Local law enforcement, citizens talk race, injustice

‘If we don’t act, nothing will change’

New River Valley community holds dialogue on race
New River Valley community holds dialogue on race

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Hundreds gathered outside the Blacksburg Police Department on Tuesday afternoon for the “Dialogue on Race” to discuss race relations in Montgomery County.

Attendees heard from activists, local elected officials and law enforcement from Montgomery County, Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Virginia Tech.

A woman attending the Dialogue on Race event outside the Blacksburg Police Department on Tuesday holds a sign that reads 'STOP RACISM NOW'. (WSLS)

People brought signs, some hoping to voice and show their anger and frustration. Virginia Tech grad student Jamie Anderson was one of them.

“[I want to] show my face and my support and let people know that I want to be heard,” said Anderson.

One of the event organizers, Penny Franklin, said local law enforcement and community members have been having these conversations for nearly a decade as part of the Dialogue on Race community group, which is aimed at understanding and improving race relations in the county.

“Bringing folks out to hear about the work that is going on, how they need to get engaged because if we don’t act, nothing will change,” said Franklin.

Christiansburg Police Chief Mark Sisson said it all boils down to trust.


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