Columbus Leaders To Host Panel On Race Relations

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Community and business leaders in Lowndes County hope a series of conversations will help build a bridge toward racial equality.

The Columbus Air Force Base, City of Columbus, and Lowndes County are hosting a panel discussion live on Facebook Tuesday at 5:30pm.

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Participants include Mayor Robert Smith, Base Commander Colonel Seth Graham, and Police Chief Fred Shelton. There will also be education leaders and a local pastor on the panel.

The group will discuss issues surrounding race including the importance of diversity and the church’s role in healing racial tensions.

The public will be able to submit comments and questions during the live Facebook event on Mayor Robert Smith’s page.

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Aundrea Self is home-grown! She grew up in Starkville and graduated from Starkville High School. She earned degrees in English and Mass Communications from Stillman College in 1996. And it was at Stillman that Aundrea fell in love with news reporting when she did her first story on the school’s renowned student choir. After graduation, Aundrea began her broadcasting career in Columbus as the morning show “sidekick” on WACR radio. She continued to work in radio for six years before making the switch to television. She joined the WCBI family as the Sunrise producer. She eventually began reporting, and that ultimately led to her 7-year run as co-anchor of “WCBI News Sunrise” and “Midday.” Aundrea currently anchors the five and six o’clock newscasts and hosts “MidMorning with Aundrea.” Aundrea has won several Associated Press awards for her work. In 2004, she was honored as a “Top 40 Under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal. A highlight of her career in journalism came in 2008 when she conducted a one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama as he campaigned in North Mississippi. Outside of work, Aundrea enjoys participating in community events. She spends much of her spare time speaking to area churches, schools, and civic organizations. She is an active member of the Starkville chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Aundrea enjoys reading, spending time with family, and sampling her husband’s tasty dishes! Aundrea and her husband, David, have three children: Kimberly, Alan, and Emilee. If you want to connect with Aundrea, make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.