AUGUSTA, Ga. – The creators of the “Drop the Dis Podcast” held a roundtable discussion addressing inequality and race relations in the community. The event took place at THE CLUBHOU.SE and featured panelists such as Dr. Tiffany Townsend and Mayor Hardie Davis.
This is the second roundtable discussion the duo has held. We sat down with a few of the panelists before the event to see what they hoped would come out of the conversation.
Reporter: “We’re here with the guys from “Drop The Dis” and today is the day for the second round table discussion. What do you hope to get out of this discussion today?”
David Bash, Co-Host, “Drop the Dis” Podcast: “Well, when we first started the series, really we didn’t know what we would get out of it and what we were really trying to do was bring light to something that we didn’t feel was getting enough attention. Now, we really want to take this opportunity and take this platform that we feel like we’ve been able to create and talk more specifically about other issues going on in our community and so today we’re doing a topic ‘examining economic equality’ and so that’s going to be talking about everybody. We’re going to be talking about people that are impoverished, LGBTQ community, people of different races or backgrounds and really we’re going to be talking about how do we improve situations for these people from different standpoints.”
Dr. Tiffany Townsend, Chief Diversity Officer at Augusta University: “Speaking from the vantage point of work force development, I’m the Chief Diversity Officer at Augusta University and certainly we are very concerned about educating the next generation and really understanding what’s required to ensure a successful and diverse work force.”
Reporter: “Why is it important to have these kinds of discussions?”
Dr. Townsend: “I think what we really need to do is to start being comfortable having conversations about inequality. I think because of the nature of the ways in which certain disparities have surfaced in our country, folks are often uncomfortable with these conversations; but until we can have these conversations we can’t move forward together as a country. I welcome the opportunity to have discussions about ways in which we can come together.”
Eric Parker, President of THE CLUBHOU.SE: “Well, really if we want to advance this community forward and have a place where everyone gets along and everyone is healthy, we have to look at a lot of the underlying socioeconomic issues beneath that and entrepreneurship and workforce development are key pieces of it.”
Mayor Hardie Davis: “I’m excited to have this conversation. I think these types of conversations have long been needed in our city to begin dealing with the issues of systemic racism…inequality. We know that last year our nation was gripped with not only with a global pandemic but more importantly the issues of social injustice, racial injustice, and now we have a unique opportunity to bend that arc towards justice, in the words of Dr. King and we’ve got a great panel of individuals who want to lean in on that conversation.”
Reporter: “What do you hope comes from today’s conversation?”
Chris Nabholz, Co-Host, “Drop the Dis” Podcast: “We really hope this gets people to talk about it. It’s talking about what’s going on. People need to feel comfortable in saying ‘how can we make this a better place together as one Augusta.’”
Mayor Hardie Davis: “I think I’ve been put in a position to not only thoughtfully engage in that conversation, but to be able to add value in a constructive way. What are some of the things we could be doing here in Augusta to help us begin shaping a community, as I often times say, ‘One Augusta’, a city of opportunity for everyone, where people want to live, to work, and to raise their families.”