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Davidson County says ‘the time is now’ to improve race relations after racist rock

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The Davidson County community is more than ready to generate positive change.

It's been almost two months since a racist message was painted on a rock outside South Davidson High School.

It spurred a county-wide discussion about racial division in the school system and the community.

"I believe we need to rise up as lions and truly roar for our communities," said Dana Hamilton, the founder of the U Matter 2 Movement.

Stepping forward and taking a stand. A community that's missed opportunities to address racial tension in the past is saying the time is now.

"The main emphasis around all of this is not just Davidson County. It's to set a standard in this county so that we can affect other counties and other areas, because quite honestly our whole nation is in trouble when it comes to this," said Hamilton.

For Davidson County, the tipping point was the racist message painted on a rock outside South Davidson High School in August.

"I think the friction between the two schools started because one school that was minority-based felt more fear, and I think when someone feels fear we need to sit down and say why is that," said Wanda Cox, a panelist at Wednesday night's community forum.

The hunger to do better and be better has grown into a county-wide movement.

Wednesday night was the second community forum put on by the nonprofit U Matter 2.

People discussed creating more employment opportunities for different cultures and seeing that reflected in businesses in Davidson County.

"I think they are all wanting to truly come together just a more universal town, a more universal city, and that's really what the goal is to make Lexington the place that people want to be, not the place people run away from," said Hamilton.

Hamilton says she knows cultural change doesn't happen overnight, but you have to start somewhere.

"Right now, we can put a ding in 20 or 30% of what's going on in our local area and surrounding area we are making progress," said Hamilton.

The U Matter 2 Movement is partnering with the City of Lexington and the Racial Equity Institute on Nov. 2 for a community outreach event. It will be at Davidson County Community College from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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