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Community Leader Says 'Race in Columbus is Still an Issue'

COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Kate Liebers) -- Black History month got off to a historic start in Columbus as the Ohio State University appointed its first black president.

This selection sent an important message, as the head of the Columbus Urban League and one of the most respected leaders in the black community, Stephanie Hightower, explained.

"This is about excellence and that it doesn't matter what the color of your skin is, that there is an individual who represents excellence, which is what the Ohio State is all about," Hightower said.

She suggested that work still needs to be done in regards to perceptions surrounding skin color.

"Race in Ohio is still an issue. Race in Columbus is still an issue. Race in these United States of America is still an issue," Hightower said.

This is particularly evident, she said, in the school system.

"The biggest issue as it relates to me personally and professionally is the inequities in education," she said.

Hightower said her greatest hope for this Black History month is to have its lessons and sensitivities associated with it remembered year-round.


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