Our Stories opens doors for brave conversations about race in South Jersey

A multi-racial discussion on Zoom.
Photo credit fizkes/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Burlington County community group wants to have brave conversations about race, and they’re looking for people in all parts of South Jersey to participate.

The program is called "Our Stories." Moorestown community group MooreUnity is offering the program in South Jersey.

"We put together cohorts of five white people and five people of color, and we meet once a week by Zoom for a six-week period," said MooreUnity President Karen Reiner.

"Over that course of time, they get to know one another and learn about each other's experiences in life, and with race and racism and bias."

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The program began in North Carolina. Reiner and MooreUnity Member Tamara Johns took part in that event and decided to bring it to South Jersey.

"People who were white in the group understood better the experiences of black people. Some of them were surprised at some of the stories they heard and also learned quite a bit, and others learned how to be a better ally," said Johns.

"There's so much division and misunderstanding among people. People keep talking at each other. we need to come together and the only way to do that is to understand each other and we can do that by telling our stories."

Johns said people can expect to be asked questions like:
- "When you were growing up, did you have any friends of a different race?"
- "What did learn from your parents about race?"
- "What creates prejudice and how can we overcome it?"

"I've experienced a lot of racism. It was affirming to hear other black people talk about their stories that were similar to mine," shared Johns.

"People's eyes are opened and hearts are transformed when they can hear people's stories."

Click here for more about Our Stories, including how to participate.

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