A panel discussion today in Thunder Bay hopes to shed light on the issue of racism in the city.

Lakehead University's student union organized the meeting, but said it is for everyone in the community, not just students.

The discussion was prompted in part by disturbing comments that showed up on social media after the fire on the James Street swing bridge, said Charmaine Romaniuk, one of the organizers.

“We came up with the idea of building bridges, because there's obviously a burned bridge,” she said.

“To build a bridge is to build connections with the community … because this is not just Thunder Bay, this is the whole group of Fort William First Nation.”

Several guest speakers from the community will take part in the panel discussion, including Georjann Morriseau, chief of the Fort William First Nation, and Ann Magiskan, aboriginal liaison for the City of Thunder Bay.

"This event is for everyone in the community, Lakehead University and at large, because a number of these issues affect us all,” Romaniuk said.

"[This is] a grass roots initiative where we can all partake and hear a number of opinions on how we can benefit the community in the long term".

The meeting will take place from 1-3 p.m. at The Agora at Lakehead University.