CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission hosted a public forum Monday night in an effort to bridge the gaps that have formed since a jury acquitted George Zimmerman.
The CHRC seeks to change the focus of the trial and use it as a chance to begin a new dialog about race relations. Event organizers have one goal in mind; to move past the George Zimmerman verdict and make a difference in the Tri-State.
Residents were invited to participate in the forum where topics such as race, fear, humanity and hope were discussed.
"So many emails, so many people are texting back and forth, face to face, people sitting down as a community and talking to each other and that's one solution," said organizer Tina Michael.
Former Cincinnati City Councilmember Cecil Thomas also attended the event where he said it's important for the community to be involved.
"It's very critical that we moved beyond the climate that we live in now. It's very divided and polarized and we have to continue to have this dialogue on race so we can keep our minds focused and go the right direction," said Thomas.
One of the issues addressed at the forum was a bill in Columbus to expand Ohio's ‘Stand your ground' law. A petition against the measure was passed around at the meeting.
Those laws have become a focus of many discussions since the Zimmerman verdict, but his attorneys never used the ‘Stand your ground' doctrine in Zimmerman's defense.