#OhioMBE Publisher, Ronda Barber is advising Black travelers to avoid the Granville, Ohio Park systems.
“I have been criminally harassed by members of the Granville Recreation District, while peacefully walking my dog. On average I walk 50 miles a month in Granville,” said Barber. “I strongly believe the Granville Recreation District facilities are not safe spaces for people of color, particularly Black women.”
Barber filed a police report earlier this fall when a Granville Recreation District employee and trustee repeatedly yelled at her “Go Home! Get Out of Here.” Previously, the employee Justin Lodge yelled at her while she was walking her dog and tailgated her out of Raccoon Valley Park.
“I have spent years enjoying the Granville Park system until recently I considered it a safe space. My complaints to the executive director were turned around on me and he defended the boorish unlawful behavior of Mr. Lodge,” Barber said.
“Recently an out-of-town parent of a Denison student asked me if Granville was safe, I strongly feel it is my obligation to warn the community of my experiences. “I know racists act violently when they are exposed, challenged or their privilege is at risk.”
Granville is a village in Licking County, Ohio. It is 30 miles from the state capital, Columbus. It is also the home of Denison University.