It was a great Friday for a presentation from our own Terry Enoch on Race Relations and Equity.  President Laura Lane McKinnon announced that she is working on putting together a socially distanced social hour in order for our members to get together and see each other face to face.  Details are still in the work so stay tuned for more information about the gathering.  Once all Rotary Business items were discussed, Chief Terry Enoch spoke to the club.  
Terry began by talking about his background.  He grew up in a country town in NC and did not realize all that was going on in the world as it related to race.  He said all the farmers depended on each and he felt accepted.  Before going to high school, Terry moved to Atlanta and when he first arrived, there was a race riot and he didn't understand it.  Unfortunately, shortly after he moved there, he was influenced by a boy who encouraged him to dropout of school.  Luckily, his aunt helped him get back on his feet and while in high school, Terry started working at a restaurant as a dishwasher.  It was there that Terry met the owner of the restaurant whose name was Bud.  Bud had it all  - a wife, children, a house and owned his own business.  Bud had a great influence on Terry and mentored him.  Once Terry started working in law enforcement, he became friends with Sheriff Johnny Wilcher who did more for him than his father ever did.  These two men, both who are white, saw Terry for who he was and not for the color of his skin.  For the past 30 years, Terry has mentored at risk kids and says that he has come to realize that his purpose is to serve God through serving God's people. 
Terry then started talking about Race and Equity.  He said that slavery still affects us today because it started the ill treatment of African Americans.  He then defined equity saying that some people need more help than others in order to be equal.  In Savannah, 26.1% of people live below the poverty level, the recidivism rate with incarcerations is 36%, and 73% of arrests made are of African American citizens.  He then spoke about Black Lives Matter.  Black Lives Matter is about protesting racism across the USA and the globe.  It is a call for a shift in our thinking.  When you say "All Lives Matter," then you are taking the focus away from those who need it most which is the African American community because they need to know and believe their lives matter the same as the rest of us.  We also need to keep the focus on African Americans in order for them to get equal footing in our country.  Before Q&A began, Terry concluded saying "silence means consent" and we must speak up.  
There was a question about how Savannah has managed to not have violent protest like many other cities.  Terry believes it is because Savannah has put in the time to create relationships and has built on that trust that the relationships have provided.  He did say we still need to have real conversations and to continue to support the children in the Savannah-Chatham area.  Another question was asked about the police presence in area schools.  Terry said that the law enforcement in the schools is first and foremost there to be of support to the children, to mentor the children, and to protect the integrity of learning.