CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Last night in a meeting in Canfield, 75 people — most of whom were white — talked about racial equality and diversity. Today, First News anchor Stan Boney talked with two Black men about Canfield’s efforts to be more welcoming to everyone.
Terrill Vidale is the 34-year-old owner of 2Deep Entertainment. He’s owned a building in downtown Canfield for the past year and a half.
On the first day Vidale moved in, the mayor, city manager and members of city council all showed up to welcome him.
“I wasn’t expecting people to go out of their way and bring me brownies, bring me cupcakes. I mean, where do they do that at?” he said.
A year and a half before Vidale bought the building, he moved to Canfield. He said he has had no problems with his neighbors.
“I love living here. I love operating here. It’s safe. It’s a great place, great city schools. What is there not to like exactly?” he said.
Rev. Lewis Macklin of Youngstown said it was “a great first step” that Canfield formed a committee to address racial equality and diversity and held a public meeting last night.
“I commend Canfield for the willingness, for the openness and the transparency,” Macklin said. “They were trying to learn and understand, and that’s what we have to do. We have to learn to listen, how to be open and then modify and adjust based upon new and real information.”
Macklin says any meeting between the Canfield’s white community and Youngstown’s Black community should be done someplace neutral.
Among the statistics presented at the meeting, Canfield’s population is 92.1 percent white and 1.3 percent Black. Mahoning County is 79.6 percent white and 15 percent Black.
“And it has to be facilitated by someone who is open, transparent and will move people beyond what we believe to be our truth or reality,” Macklin said.
“There’s this misrepresentation of Canfield where, yes, there are going to be people, but there are racist individuals everywhere. So it’s not like just in Canfield, it’s just that Canfield is stereotyped for it,” Vidale said.
Vidale is a member of the committee in Canfield on racial equality and diversity.
Vidale and Macklin agree that the one thing holding the Black community from moving to Canfield is the cost. It came out last night that the median selling price of a house in Canfield is $247,000.