Centenary to host mayoral forum along with community partners

SHREVEPORT, LA — On Tuesday, October 23, Centenary College’s Whited Room will be the site for one of the final candidate forums of the 2018 Shreveport mayoral campaign. Centenary will host the forum along with the Together We Win Network (TO-WWN), the League of Women Voters, and the YWCA of Northwest Louisiana. The event begins with a candidate meet and greet at 6:00 p.m. followed by the moderated forum at 6:30 p.m.

The forum, entitled “Race and the City,” will focus on the issue of institutional racism in Shreveport and ask the candidates to share their plans for combating the challenges presented by institutional racism in four broad areas: the economy, education, health care, and criminal justice. John Ratcliff and Niketa Williams will serve as moderators for the discussion.

Mayoral candidates who have confirmed their attendance include Anna Marie Arpino, Steven Jackson, Adrian Perkins, Jeron Rogers, Lee O. Savage, and Jim Taliaferro. All are challengers to Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler, who is unable to attend due to a previous city-related commitment. 

“We often avoid discussing race, despite its pervasive effects on society,” says Dr. Chris Ciocchetti, professor of philosophy at Centenary and a member of the planning committee for the forum. “The ‘Race and the City’ forum fits with Centenary’s effort to heal the racial divide in our city. Centenary has partnered with the YWCA to offer the six-week guided discussion series, Dialogue on Race, on campus for students and community members. The College also helped launch Dinner & Dialogue in September, which has brought together participants for pot-luck dinners in each others’ homes to discuss how they experience race in Shreveport.”

The forum is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. A live stream of the forum will be available at centenary.edu/raceandthecity.

Centenary will also be the site for one of a series of mayoral forums hosted by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce October 16-18. The Centenary forum will be Wednesday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium. More information about this event is available at shreveportchamber.org/events.