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YWCA Racial Justice Forum postponed due to rise in COVID-19 cases

The YWCA Corpus Christi Racial Justice Forum is held every Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The annual YWCA Racial Justice Forum scheduled for today, Jan. 17, has been postponed.

Organizers of the event posted a video on YouTube explaining that a rise in COVID-19 cases caused them to postpone the event.

Organizers said the forum will be be scheduled for later this year, but no date was given. The forum is meant to be a place for community leaders to discuss race relations in the Coastal Bend. It stands as part of the YWCA's mission to to eliminate racism and empower women.

President and CEO of the organization Nancy Wesson Dodd, said organizers made the difficult choice to postpone Monday's event, as a way to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

"Well, the YWCA struggled with this decision, we wanted to do the racial justice forum today because this is the day, and yet with COVID numbers rising, we felt it was so important to also be safe," Dodd said. "And so we decided would be advisable to postpone it rather than cancel, so that more people could participate at a later date, when the COVID numbers are decreasing."

Dodd said in order to discuss race relations it's important that as many people as possible participate so that everyone's voice in the community is heard. The event holding a special place in her heart. 

"We had our banquet in the school cafeteria. And we thought we made such a statement. Years later when I came to the YWCA looking at the history I found that at that same time the 60;s, women of the YWCA were handing out business cards all over town saying I am one among many who encourage you to open your business establishment to people of all color," Dodd said.

Dodd adds that she wants to honor those who came before her by following the YWCA's mission to the letter. 

"The YWCAs mission is eliminating racism empowering women and bringing peace, justice, freedom, and dignity to all. And I think that really is part of what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for," Dodd said. 

Those who wish to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. can still meet at the Nueces County Courthouse for the MLK Commemorative March beginning at noon. 

Residents are also encouraged to visit the 'I Have A Dream' mural in downtown Corpus Christi. The mural was painted by Michael and Diana Vaughn in 2005. It's located at Alameda and Antelope streets off Staples.

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