Confronting racism in downtown Binghamton

By Perry Russom

October 21, 2013 Updated Oct 21, 2013 at 10:53 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A group of human rights organizations in Binghamton are calling on downtown businesses to sign an anti-racism pledge.

Binghamton University's Confronting Racism Coordinating Committee spoke with Binghamton City Council Monday night.

They're one of the groups organizing the pledge.

"By making a public pledge, hopefully what this will do is signal to the community that there is a problem and we want to address it together," said Toivo Asheeke, a member of Confronting Racism Coordinating Committee.

Asheeke said after a culmination of exclusionary practices downtown, they're looking to have an open discussion about racism and class-related bias by downtown businesses.

"On some level, we want this to be a partnership with businesses and say, 'Hey, look how bad this could get, and we need to understand how it got this bad,'" said Asheeke.

Asheeke said his organization hopes to send the pledges out by next week in enough time for their rally next Friday.

The rally will start at 7 p.m. by the Martin Luther King Statue on Court Street and end on the green by State Street.