Friday, November 16, 2001

Belafonte initiated urban peace forum

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Harry Belafonte — singer, actor and tireless activist — was the driving force behind a summit today to address the caustic issues that have led to violence and rioting in the city in recent months.

        Clergy, community leaders and national activists will attend the daylong “Urban Peace & Freedom Summit,” at The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., hosted by the staff and supporters of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

        Mr. Belafonte initiated the summit to address “concerns in the Cincinnati urban community and across the country,” said Ernest Britton, a spokesman for the Freedom Center.

        “We don't know what will come out of the next day and a half, but we do know that the Freedom Center is a place to bring people together for dialogue and discussion,” Mr. Britton said Thursday.

        In addition to the forum, Mr. Belafonte and other members of his informal activist group known as the “Urban Peace Movement” plan a peace walk Saturday through Over-the-Rhine.

        The walk is to be led by the Rev. Damon Lynch III, a member of the Freedom Center's board and leader of the Cincinnati Black United Front.

        He will be among the speakers at the summit, along with Freedom Center president Ed Rigaud and 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Nathaniel Jones, among others.

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