Editor, Commonwealth:

I grew up in Greenwood, but I haven’t lived there since the early 1970s. However, I visited often when I still had family there.

I know the community has been torn up by many recent events, so this may be a good time to have some constructive conversations about how to heal divisions and work toward making Greenwood a better place to live. Greenwood is full of great people and promising possibilities for community development. Here are some suggestions.

1.Keep promoting festivals like you have and maybe expand them once the pandemic is over. Anything that brings people together in a positive activity is good.

2.Houses of worship are often effective catalysts for social change. Consider a race relations symposium among pastors and other leaders of houses of worship. One of the outcomes could be finding ways to continue working together for community improvement.

3.Find other cities and towns that are similar to Greenwood to use as benchmarks. For example, Cleveland seems to be a bright spot in the Delta. Talk to their folks and share ideas about community improvement and community development. Sometimes cities that collaborate with each other come up with initiatives that benefit both.

4.There has been some good development downtown, and you should continue that. Economic development should benefit the whole community.

5.I read that the train station is the second-busiest in Mississippi. Use that to attract tourists by offering more things to do in the area surrounding the station and by making improvements in the station itself. Travelers will get a good impression of Greenwood, and some of them will come back, especially after they’ve had a meal at The Crystal Grill!

6. This idea is a little different but might be worth considering. River cruises are becoming more popular, and there are some on the Mississippi River. Discuss with cruise companies about offering excursions to Greenwood, either by bus or up the Yazoo by smaller excursion boat.

Mississippi is known as the hospitality state for good reason. Most people in Greenwood and other parts of Mississippi are incredibly friendly and hospitable. These are troubling times, but if Greenwood approaches this as an opportunity instead of a problem, good things can happen. I wish you all the best.

Greg Drake

Lexington, Kentucky

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