REWATCH: News 6 hosts Real Talk: A Candid Conversation on racial inequality in America

Discussion took place on Juneteenth

On Juneteenth, News 6 joined a panel of community leaders to discuss racial inequality and what can be done to build a better future.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The death of George Floyd, a black man whose final moments were spent with a white officer’s knee pinned to his neck, has sparked oftentimes uncomfortable but much-needed conversations about race relations in our country.

[Use the video player at the top of this story to rewatch the Real Talk town hall]

Nationwide, as well as in our own backyard, we’ve seen protests and calls for change, including cries for more transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies.

But it wasn’t just Floyd.

Demonstrators have also chanted the names of Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and other people of color who, like them, died at the hands of someone wearing a badge and holding a gun.

[Floyd’s death spurs question: What is a black life worth?]

Activists say that list proves that Floyd’s death wasn’t a tragic one-off example; it was part of a larger, disturbing trend of police brutality directed toward black people in America.

The conversation surrounding the death of George Floyd hasn’t stopped and on Friday, local leaders channeled that discussion as part of a town hall focused on police and community relations.

That’s why hosted Real Talk: A Candid Conversation from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. We heard your thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas when it comes to racial inequality and what can be done to build a better future where people aren’t discriminated against for the color of their skin.

We assembled a panel of experts who provided their unique perspectives and solutions when it comes to the problems our society is facing today all while News 6 anchor Ginger Gadsden serves as the moderator. They were University of Central Florida assistant sociology professor Dr. Jonathan Cox, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, American Academy of Pediatrics spokeswoman Dr. Candice Jones, Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon, Sen. David Simmons and vice president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers Vanessa Skipper.

And the date of our event was no coincidence. It fell on Juneteenth, an unofficial holiday known as Black Independence Day that commemorates the events of June 19, 1865.

Matt and Ginger talk to Dr. Jonathan Cox from UCF about the death of George Floyd.

On that day, Major General Gordon Granger went to Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery.

Fast forward to today and we honor the event not only by acknowledging all that’s changed during the past 155 years, but also by reflecting and examining the improvements that still need to be made to promote a culture that is just and fair to all of its members.

The conversation on how humanity needs to evolve isn’t one-sided. That’s why we invited our viewers to participate.

To rewatch Real Talk: A Candid Conversation, click the video player at the top of this story.