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8-year-old Jenks East Elementary student hosts panel discussion about racism

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 16:42:35-04

An 8-year-old Jenks East Elementary students is hosting a panel discussion to tackle racism.

Lola Heffington has written letter after letter. All handwritten and sent to city and community leaders of different races and religions.

"I want them to stand up for what's right," she said. "I'm going to have this project to help the brown, black and white people get a long better."

The panel discussion is called "It starts with me," and it has one purpose.

"I feel like everyone should get a chance to be loved," Lola said.

Like her favorite book collection, the "Who was" series, focusing on famous people in history, Lola's passion is people and the stories they tell.

"It's not just how you look, it's how, the inside of your heart [is]," Lola said.

It's a message she hopes everyone will come to hear as city and community leaders line the stage.

"Have you ever been judged because of your skin color? How did it feel? How'd you get over it?"

This is just one of many questions Lola thinks will resonate with an audience, and the goal is simple.

"Once we're done and they walk out the door, they stand up for what's right," she said.

It took a lengthy two months for Lola to prepare for the panel, writing letters, and hanging posters. She says once it's done, she has big plans.

"Maybe being a lazy bone," she laughed.

Because changing the world at 8-years-old, can be a lot of work.

The panel will take place Saturday, April 1 at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish art at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free.

So far, Lola has received RSVP's from people at the mayor's office, the Jewish Federation, Asbury, and more. Lola asks that everyone comes with an open mind and an open heart.

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