Addressing this issue of equality is deepest desire expressed. Racism and inequality were dominant and cross-cutting themes -- they represented a majority of comments and permeated the other issues. As the city where the sit-ins started, many residents hope that Greensboro can be a model for the “beloved community.”
Many respondents aspire for Greensboro to be a model community that respects and treats all people fairly:
I want a Greensboro where every single person in our community is treated with respect and kindness by all of us. I want a Greensboro where we all understand that most of our resources need to go to the people who need them most.
There is a recognition that experience and opportunities that Black residents have are not the same. There is a desire for greater equity.
We are a city divided by race, color and class. Those in power seem to have blinders regarding this fact and seem to care nothing about resolving the inequities.
This encompasses economic opportunity, education, and equal treatment:
My greatest hope is to see a more equal education being provided for all Greensboro students. Right now the disparity between mostly white and mostly black schools is great and I would like to see that gap close. All schools need to be in good repair. All students need access to materials and extracurriculars. I would also like to see a less militarized police force and more finding going towards education and community programs.
The issues related to policing are a particular focus:
We need to address the social inequality that is currently feeding the protests. We need to not fear calling on law enforcement, trusting they will treat all people with dignity and respect.
I would like to see a Greensboro which has reconciled its troubling past with police brutality, including in the murder of Marcus Deon Smith which occurred in 2018. I would like to see a Greensboro that has recognized and followed through on the demands brought forth by the Greensboro Rising petition.
The overwhelming sentiment reflects a desire to move towards greater equity:
I would like for Greensboro to be a leader in equity and Civil Rights. Let's try to honor all of our Civil Rights heroes and history that we have here, let's get this right, this time.
For this current season to unleash a wave of creativity and innovation in providing economic mobility for disadvantaged populations, through shifting power structures and disrupting access to opportunity. Greensboro has all the essential ingredients for this to happen, but we must have the collective will to realize beloved community.
And the stakes for equality are high. The call for change is urgent:
I want it to grow in a healthy way. I want it to be more equal and more just for all. I want to see downtown flourish. And I desperately want more job opportunities so we can stay for the long run. Otherwise, I could see my family and I having to leave.