Forum seeks to promote unity

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A pair of service organizations is hosting a community wide forum on Thursday in an effort to foster unity.

Dana Wilson, founder of Humbled Hearts Inc., and Shabrell Reynolds, founder of Flowing Brook Inc., are organizing the public town hall as a way to facilitate understanding in the face of growing racial unrest across America.

“Both of us have businesses and pages on social media,” Reynolds said Monday. “And we could see where the differences in opinion could be headed in the wrong direction …

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“We want to take that energy and redirect it to something positive.”

Reynolds said the forum will include a sharing of thoughts, questions and hearts as organizers seek to “reintroduce Jesus as the center of our being.” The forum will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at Murphree Park, is not a protest or a rally, she said.

“This is Christian-centered,” Reynolds said. “This is not a rally or a protest, and we’re not asking anyone to take a stand. In fact, we would prefer you not.”

Instead, she said, organizers want to focus on promoting a Christ-centered response to the public debate sparked by the high-profile police killings of black men and the shooting rampage that left five Dallas police officers dead last week. The incidents have fueled “Black Lives Matter” grassroots protests, from Atlanta to Minnesota to Baton Rouge and Dallas.

“Because we both have organizations that foster wellness, we’re trying to prevent things from happening here,” Reynolds said.

“We know that we have to allow people to reach the end of their rope to face humility, to have an encounter with Jesus that overtakes their heart … We want to focus on having Christ at the center of how we treat people and the way we see other people.”

Reynolds said she and Wilson will facilitate the forum.

“We’re not specifically targeting any race or any group,” she said. “In fact, we’re hoping to get a good representation from everyone.”

The organizers have talked with representatives of the Troy Police Department, Pike County Sheriff’s Department and Troy Mayor Jason Reeves, inviting all to the forum.

Reynolds’ post on social media explains that the organizers “want to help our community evolve by reintroducing Jesus as the center of our being … We promise to allow God to use us to impact one another.”