Olentangy Schools will host three virtual town-hall meetings on racial justice in the next week.
The sessions will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, Monday, June 29, and Tuesday, June 30. However, as of June 24, only the June 30 event had space remaining. The virtual meetings can accommodate 200 people each, district leaders said.
They will be moderated by Jackie Merkle, the district's supervisor of equity and inclusion, along with other members of the district's diversity team.
To register, visit tinyurl.com/ydd5ms69.
These town halls were planned, district spokeswoman Krista Davis said, in conjunction with a message from Merkle about Juneteenth posted June 19 to the district's website and social-media accounts.
"In the spirit of reflection and gathering, we will be organizing a set of virtual community town hall meetings on racial justice over the next two weeks," the statement read. "Co-hosted by the diversity committee and moderated by the Equity and Inclusion team, the purpose of these meetings will be to hear ideas and proposed action steps from our community members to continue moving us forward in the work of anti-racism and justice."
A separate statement from Superintendent Mark Raiff acknowledged the stories being shared on the recently created Instagram account @DearOLSD, which features first-person accounts of racism, bias and more from current and former Olentangy students.
"It is painful to read these words and experiences," the statement read. "However, I am proud of their courage to speak out with conviction and share their truth. I assure the creators, contributors, and our community at large that we have read, and will continue to read, every single letter posted to this account."
"We invite you to join us at any of our three upcoming Town Halls to share your perspectives and help shape the steps the district is taking toward anti-racism," the statement read.