Friendship Council invites pastors to group’s meetings

Published 4:38 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

The Thermal Belt Friendship Council invites all pastors concerned about social justice, racial healing and community outreach to join the group for frank discussions about inclusion, diversity and bridging the racial divide.
The Thermal Belt Friendship Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission of embracing diversity within the community. The overall goal is to bring individuals of different races, ethnicity, cultures and beliefs together to have honest dialogue about race relations.
The Friendship Council meets every second Tuesday of the month at Roseland Community Center, located at the intersection of East Howard and Peake streets in Tryon.
The Friendship Council has been in existence since the late 1980s after the Klan announced it would march in Tryon. Black and white citizens came together to identify ways to protest the planned march. The strategy created was simply not to feed into the hate by abandoning the streets. The Klan did march, but the streets and sidewalks remained empty.
Early meetings had much support from the faith-based community; however, in recent years, fewer ministers and pastors have attended meetings and events. Joseph L. Fox, president of the Friendship Council, said the group would like to encourage ministers and pastors to return and continue the struggles of breaking down walls of separation among the races.
“Each year we sponsor the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Tryon Fine Arts Center,” Fox said. “Looking out at the crowd of diverse individuals is a glorious feeling. That feeling quickly fades away when monthly meetings pick back up, and we see that we are missing many of the attendees that were present at the celebration.”
There is no membership fee and no requirement to attend every event.
“We just ask that you be willing to work for social justice and equality,” Fox said.
– article submitted by Joseph L. Fox, Friendship Council president

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox