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Launch of the Community Bridge project – planned community conversation

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KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) — A group of ministers from the region have launched the Community Bridge Project. Their goal is to build positive and healthy relationships among diverse groups within the Kannapolis community. The group began meeting last year after observing civil unrest occurring in parts of the United States. The group will work to achieve its goals through intentional communication, thoughtful dialogue on important issues, and conflict resolution.

Their vision statement is Bbuilding Rrelationship with Iintentional Ddialogue, grace, and Eempathy (BRIDGE).

The group will focus its work on public education and community dialogue on topics of particular concern to the people of Kannapolis and those who may have increased levels of racial tension in other parts of the country. Topics include public education on affordable housing and child care, police procedures for traffic stops and incident response, job training, entrepreneurship and much more.

Group members include: Beryl Torrence, Dr. Greg Sloop, Gloria Talbert, Pastor Farrar Griggs, Jr., Pastor John Leazer, Pastor Tracy Caldwell, Pastor Ronnie Bell, Pastor Reginald Pharr, Pastor William Moody, Pastor Willie Rash, Stephen Williamson, Kannapolis Police Chief Terry Spry, Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg, Father Joshua Gilliam, Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant, and Kannapolis Community Development, Sherry Gordon.

Centerview Baptist Church pastor Willie Rash, who has lived in Kannapolis for 26 years and is a member of the Community Bridge Project, said, “We believe pastors and churches have something to offer our city. We can help each other speak out peacefully and build bridges between us and our municipal leaders. We want to develop relationships with each other now, so that if we ever encounter difficulties or misunderstandings, we can resolve them in a positive and constructive way.

“I also lived in Kannapolis for over twenty years and one of the best things about our city is the sense of community we have. We are a growing city with people from diverse backgrounds and different opinions. The Community Bridge Project can help our growing community have positive interactions with each other and with city staff,” said Beryl Torrance, Sunday School teacher at Journey United Methodist Church.

Their first event will be a community dialogue conversation with Kannapolis Police Chief Terry Spry. The conversation will take place from 6-7 p.m. on June 16 at Kannapolis Middle School. The school is located at 1000 Virginia Dare Street. The community is invited to attend and meet with members of the Community Bridge Project and Chief Spry and have a conversation about all things Kannapolis Police Department and the community.

“We look forward to this conversation with Chief Spry and the many more opportunities we will have to learn and work together as a community. We welcome feedback from everyone in our city,” Rash said.

For more information on the June 16 conversation and the group, email [email protected]

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