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Dallas group launches initiative to address race and social justice

Project Unity organizers say the "Together We Can" initiative is focused on healing racial divides.

DALLAS — Discussions about race and social justice are happening in communities across the country.

Those conversations have been largely sparked by the death of George Floyd, and the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin this week. Both have led to protests for justice. 

"Right now, America feels like it’s in one big toxic marriage,” said Gordon Keith.

Race, racism, and racialized events are issues dividing the country, yet again.

"I know that the problems we are currently experiencing feel huge,” Keith added.

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Race and individuals' attitudes toward addressing it, is why Dallas-based nonprofit Project Unity is launching "Together We Can." It is a community-based initiative focused on healing racial divides.

"If Black people could have solved the issue of racism, don’t you know it would have been solved by now? We need our white brothers and sisters to join us, and to honestly take the lead,” said Pastor Richie Butler.

Butler, a clergyman and business leader, is the founder of Project Unity. He has been working with Dallas attorney Rob Crain on a series of programs under the Together We Can umbrella. It invites individuals and groups to take an introspective look at history, culture and biases. The programs are often through intimate conversations facilitated in safe environments.

"Together We Can’s mission is to educate, enable, and empower a lifestyle of mindfulness and action against racism,” said Crain.

Organizers say the goal with Together We Can is building and bridging more allies, than adversaries, in the work around race relations and social justice. Churches, businesses, and large corporations are among those supporting the Together We Can initiative.

"This is our moment, in this movement, a collective moment for all of us,” said Cynt Marshall, CEO of Dallas Mavericks.

The initiative is launching in Dallas, but organizers say the vision is to make it a national project. To learn more about the effort, you can visit TogetherWeCan.one.