Southern Discomfort, a panel held last fall addressing race and inclusion in the local music scene, is back this year to present small group discussions that will be streamed via Facebook Live.

Ever since October’s initial forum, a core group of panelists have continued to meet up, discussing “ways to ensure that the accountability and forward movement brought about by the original panel does not go to waste,” SD organizers said in a recent statement. “As we saw at Redux, issues of diversity and access are complex. With that in mind, the goal for each small group discussion is to focus on a specific concept in an intimate environment where we can dive deeper into its complexities and explore solutions.”

Panels will consist of forum organizers and rotating guests that are relevant to each discussion’s topic.

“We encourage the community to tune in, as we will monitor comments and questions through the Facebook livestream, and incorporate them into the discussion,” SD said.

In addition to Facebook Live video comments, the discussions will address issues presented through this Community Input Google Form.

“The best way we feel we can serve the community at large is to survey what the community needs,” SD said. “So we welcome artists and community members to (a) volunteer to participate in a SD discussion, (b) suggest topics, or (c) offer resources through our Google Form.”

Potential participants should submit the form if you feel you’re generally unable to pursue creative projects due to accessibility and diversity issues; have had or are having specific issues with venues; feel uncomfortable, unsafe, marginalized, or unable to enjoy consuming art locally; or you can offer resources to help those who may have experienced any of the above.

“Artistic expression is vital to a healthy community and to meaningful public discourse. This effort is meant to be a support system for the artists/creatives in our community whose voices are not heard often enough,” SD said. “We’re dedicated to making Charleston an environment where all can feel empowered to explore their own creativity.”

As these efforts progress, the goal is to bring on new organizers to create balanced leadership.

“It’s also our hope that through this process, local leadership will be cultivated, leading to us holding another public forum in the fall (and annually thereafter) similar to the initial Redux forum,” SD said.

The date for the first group discussion has yet to be announced, but you can follow Southern Discomfort on Facebook for further details.

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