While the Cleveland Rising Summit doesn’t take place until next month, early outreach sessions are happening all over the area.

Cleveland, Ohio’s revitalization is the hot topic of the summit, and ultimately, the mission is to have candid conversations about ideas for the city’s future.

“There is a very large racial divide in Cleveland that people can’t just ignore any longer,” said Chardonnay Graham of the Cleveland Summit ‘Share Your Voice’ sessions.

The big summit is in late October, but the sessions going on now are designed for people who can’t attend the large event. The discussions will be based around how best to make Cleveland more fair and equal amongst its residents.

Felton Thomas is the director of the Cleveland Public Library and co-chair of the Cleveland Rising Summit. He says these are the types of conversations that will help break down barriers.

“Starting a discussion in which we’re working towards ‘How can we have a better, brighter future?’ is dependent upon everyone who’s at the table, everyone who’s at the room, starting to talk about ‘How I can trust you?'” said Thomas.

The summit proposes a set of priorities that will be sent to local leaders so they can benefit the people who live in Cleveland.