Officials and members of the community are gathering for a unity summit themed “Where Do We Go From Here?” on Saturday, Aug. 15 starting at 9 a.m. at Christian County Middle School.

The goal of the summit is to create discussion regarding the concept of systemic racism including police and community relations within the county.

Opening the doors at 8:30 a.m., officials and members of the community that have RSVP’d will have their temperature checked and will be provided with a mask if they don’t already have one in order to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Moderated by the Rev. Lisa Lewis Balboa, the event will start with testimonials from a number of guest speakers such as Magistrate Magaline Ferguson, retired Judge Arnold Lynch, retired Principal Levi Peterson and Associate Minister Jovante Mahone.

After a short break from 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m., a panel discussion will be moderated by Judge Andrew Self.

Guest speakers include Superintendent of Christian County Public Schools Chris Bentzel, Christian County Sheriff Tyler DeArmond, Rev. Balboa, Executive Director of the Hopkinsville HRC Idalia Luna, Morehouse University graduate Donavan Pinner and Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner.

Another 15-minute break will follow this session from 11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. with Breakout Sessions next on the agenda.

Those in attendance will separate into groups to discuss issues and develop action items for one of up to eight topics.

Afterwards, Mayor Wendell Lynch will give closing remarks and then those in attendance will be given a sack lunch upon exiting.

The letter announcing the event states that while there are strong connections in the community, its residents are not immune to tragedies that have happened nationwide.

The letter furthers this point, stating that while one meeting can’t address every issue, they must be committed to ensuring dialogues remain open and become enhanced.

“We would like to seize this opportunity to continue to learn from one another and to keep in the forefront our most sincere aim to remain positively united while deepening our existing relationships and building new ones,” the letter reads.

For those who wish to attend the event, people can register at or call 270-890-0200 no later than Monday, Aug. 3.

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