WATCH: Carter County Drug Prevention holding online conversation about racism in America


CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Over the past two weeks, officials with Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition say they’ve heard from several people in the community about how to help change systemic racism.

Director Jilian Reece said after hearing the pleas, she decided it was time to open the door for conversations about race relations.

So to help encourage discussion, Reece has lined up several guest speakers for a free Zoom event on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

According to a new release, “The event moderator will be McKenna Marr of Carter County Drug Prevention’s Youth Coalition. McKenna is 13 years old from Johnson City, TN. She may be young, but she is determined. McKenna is a humanitarian dedicated to raising awareness for real world problems, and doing her part to make this world a better place.”

Several guest speakers are lined up to engage in the conversation, including Elizabethton native Karlyssa Williams.

Williams joined anchor Ashley Sharp to highlight Tuesday’s event. You can watch their discussion above.

According CCDP, “Williams is an Elizabethton native, military spouse, and mother of two. She is a graduate of King University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience. She continued her education at Milligan University, where she received her Masters of Education. She currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and two young boys.”

Other guest speakers include:

  • Gracie Carter is an Undergraduate Student at ETSU studying Psychology and Criminal Justice. She is currently working on Sex Offender and Sex Crime research, and plans to be a Forensic Psychologist. Gracie is a woman of color and tries to use her voice and experiences to speak out against systemic racism
  • Destiney Minnefield graduated from Elizabethton High School in 2019 and is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education from MTSU. Destiney hopes that she can empower others to have conversations about their experiences. Her hope for this event is that the stories shared and questions answered will be impactful for others
  • Courtney Murphy is a daughter, wife, mother and follower of Jesus. She is a nurse practitioner who has a passion for pediatric medicine. She holds an MSN from TSU and 3 undergraduate degrees from ETSU double majoring in Early Childhood Education and Psychology as well as Nursing. Go Bucs! She loves Disney, fashion and values free time with her family.
  • Terrence Turner Jr is husband, dad, and son. He is a follower of Christ. He went to Elizabethton High school where he played football. He went on to play at ETSU and graduated with a bachelor degree in Exercise Science. He is married to Emily Turner and they have a 5 year old son named Titus. He has a passion for coaching and loves working with kids. He does personal training at Witten Huddle and coached for two years at Elizabethton High School.

Tuesday’s event follows a long line of events in the Tri-Cities hoping to spark change for race relations.

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People of ages and demographics are welcome to hear stories, ask questions and have candid conversations about how to tackle systemic racism in America. Anyone interested in attending can sign up at: HERE.

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