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RealiTea ProjecT hosting panel discussion on race

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Mattoon area resident Taneya Higginbotham, who recently founded The RealiTea ProjecT to further discussions and actions on racial injustice and racial equity, gives her reaction to the Derek Chauvin verdict.

MATTOON — Several panelists are scheduled to take part in a Mattoon-area organization's virtual discussion on race, equity and community Friday evening.

The RealiTea ProjecT, founded by Mattoon-area resident Taneya Higginbotham, has organized the panel discussion and will livestream the event at 6 p.m. on the organization's Facebook page.

Higginbotham, Taneya (copy)


Higginbotham will lead a discussion that also will feature Traci Ellis, a J.D. facilitator who focuses on senior and executive-level law and diversity, equity and inclusion; James Williams, a retired police lieutenant; Ed Dowd, executive director of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce; Amanda Lessley, president/CEO of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation; Harold Pettigrew, bishop and lead pastor of Kingdom Driven Church; and Maggie Burkhead, director of TRIO Student Support Services at Eastern Illinois University.

More information is available by emailing

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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