ELK GROVE -- At the request of citizens, the Elk Grove City Council hosted a community forum on race relations.
The Monday night meeting at the Elk Grove Park Pavilion attracted a diverse standing-room-only crowd, and lasted nearly four hours.
It was mostly a listening session during which people shared their experiences with racism in Elk Grove.
Some speakers pointed out that racism is the exception, not the norm in Elk Grove, but that incidents do happen here and they need to be addressed.
A racist note that was left on an Elk Grove salon in September is being investigated as a hate crime. Police are also investigating hateful graffiti that was painted on an apartment complex on Emerald Park Drive earlier this month.
"We can't fix hate with hate," said Sharie Wilson, owner of the salon. "We only can fix hate with love."
"Don't just let the media or one experience dictate what you think about an entire race," offered another speaker at Monday's meeting. "Take the time to actually learn, befriend someone, step out of your comfort zone."
There was no action item to be voted on at Monday's meeting. Rather, it was a chance for people to be heard by their city.
There will be another meeting on the same subject next Monday, October 30, also at the Elk Grove Park Pavilion, 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road. That meeting will feature guest speakers and will not be an open forum.