Pa. Human Relations Commission to hold racism town hall in W. Manchester

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
From left, Sandra Thompson, Carolyn Dow and Sandra Harrison listen as Myneca Ojo, right, give testimony during the second Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing at York City Council Chambers Friday, June 22, 2018. The hearing was in response to allegations that the four and another member of the Sisters in the Fairway were racially harassed during an incident at Grandview Golf Club in April. Bill Kalina photo

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission will hold a town-hall meeting in West Manchester on Thursday, Nov. 15, to address recent racist activities in York County.

The town hall will be facilitated by the commission, local organizations and the faith-based community and will feature a panel with "those affected by the recent divisive activity in York County," according to the commission. 

During the town hall, speakers will address Pennsylvania hate crime law and ethnic intimidation. 

The  discussion will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the West Manchester Township Building, 380 E. Berlin Road.

More:York County police and clergy build trust through two years of dialogue

More:Four women from 'Grandview Five' incident talk diversity, inclusion with golf club owners

Earlier meeting: The first town hall was held in September at the Crispus Attucks Community Center and featured one of the women involved in an incident earlier this year at  Grandview Golf Club. 

Video of a group of African-American women being confronted by former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister at the golf course went viral in April. Chronister, who owns the course, called the police after the women allegedly refused to leave when accused of playing too slowly. 

Four of the so-called "Grandview Five" women recently spoke about diversity to state golf club owners at the annual Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association meeting. 

Safety: During the September town hall, a man claiming to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan spoke at the podium. 

The upcoming town hall will have security and law enforcement present, but the commission isn't expecting violent activity, according to communications director Renee Martin. 

"As (our executive director) said at that meeting, he has every right to speak to it," she said. "We can't solve the problem unless everybody is at the table." 

Following a panel of speakers, Thursday's meeting will be open for public comment, Martin said. 

She said a third town hall will be held in Hellam Township, where 25-year-old Chad Merrill was shot to death last summer.

More:Reason for fatal shooting outside Hellam Twp. bar still not known

Merrill was shot July 21 after police said James Michael Saylor, 24, used racial slurs against Merill's friend outside a bar.