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Appleton pastors and students discuss race

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s been nearly two months since the death of George Floyd sparked a wave of protests throughout the nation and put the issue of race in the spotlight.

Right here in Appleton, one local group taking steps to bring about change in race relations.

Appleton is trying to improve race relations, so a panel of Appleton students, pastors, and officials held a community conversation about race.

Pastor Walter Ragland of the Appleton Pentecostal Assembly says, “I would hope that the people walk away with a different mindset and become more knowledgeable of what their community is dealing with and that people do not no longer turn a blind eye.”

Because the wave or protests involve many young adults, organizers say their input is key to understanding the racial climate in America.

Appleton student Divine Dupree says, “There are young people Godly young people still in this world not just out in the streets doing whatever. We want to be educated and follow God.”

Nearly sixty years after Martin Luther King Jr’s’ I have a dream speech’, this panel of five black students say they’re still judged by the color of their skin and not the content of their character.

Dupree says, “Young people are overlooked in the community because they think we are thugs.”

Organizers hope change will follow this discussion about race.

Pastor Charles Butler of Breakthrough Covenant Church says, “We really believe if we start to build relationship and realize we’re all just people. They can start to break down a lot of the racial stereotypes and racist feelings that people have right now.”

Organizers of this group say they have future activities planned– like prayer and worship nights – involving several other Appleton area churches.

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