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Healing Racial Divide Through Faith
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Small group leaders share what they learned while talking
Desare Frazier

A Mississippi organization is reaching across generations to encourage people to talk about race and the feelings they're reluctant to share.  MPB's Desare Frazier reports.

Mississippi's state flag with the confederate emblem and President Donald Trump's comments about athletes kneeling during the national anthem are topics that can ignite emotions. Neddie Winters is President of Mission Mississippi. He says the Christian organization provides a safe place where people can talk about those issues and others in a respectful manner.  Winters says despite what's happening in society, Christians are called to obey God, which includes loving one another.

"That don't mean that we don't deal with reality. But the point of the matter is that the last I saw God didn't call the White House or anyone in the White House to do what Christians ought to do. Now if a Christian happen to be there then they have a responsibility to do that. However, the president is not dividing us, we're dividing ourselves," said Winters.

Winters says his group is working to help heal the divide.  People of all ages are taking part in a day long event where they can talk about racial issues in small groups. Betsy Trubex, is a freshman at William Carey University. The 18-year old describes what she sees among blacks and whites in Mississippi.

"The cultural norms and how it's been established that there is a separation and people are afraid to break that boundary and they're uncomfortable when they break that boundary," said Trubex.

Twenty-three year old law school student Meaghan Jordan says people in her group agreed to get out of their comfort zone.

"They're going to go out and try to get a church that might be a predominantly a different race than their own and do a park clean-up together," said Jordan.

Jeff Byrd, is a student pastor. 

"It's not something that's going to happen overnight. It's something that's going to take time because relationships are built over a time period," said Byrd.

Neddie Winters says it's important Christians be responsible and avoid labeling and judging others.