It sounds like an event straight out of The Onion, but a Georgia networking group says it wants to put an end to racial animosity, so it's inviting members to a special event where they can "Meet a Black Person," reports CNN.
Urban MediaMakers, a group of African-American men and women in the arts in Atlanta, came up with the event. Their founder, Cheryle Moses, says she really just wanted to help people who live in and around the city bridge the racial divide — particularly after all the friction of the last year.
After seeing a statistic that said more than three-quarters of white Americans don't have any friends of another ethnicity, she decided she'd make it a networking goal. "In the black community we know of white people who don't have a lot of black friends," Moses told CNN. "But still, seeing a statistic about it just opened our eyes," Moses said.
"It's a great opportunity to start relationships," she continued. "And if you have a relationship with somebody, you are inclined to treat them like yourself. If you don't have that relationship, then you'll only treat them based upon what you may have seen or read somewhere."
Event attendees can expect all of the "traditional" trappings of a networking meetup, CNN explains — they'll have ID badges and there will be refreshments — but they should expect to participate in activities designed to help them work together and break down barriers. Moses anticipates that the "Meet a Black Person" event will involve a scavenger hunt, where participates will be sorted into mixed-race teams, and opportunities to learn about Atlanta's local black community.
Facilitators will be on hand to help anyone who is having trouble integrating.
The event may be the first official one of its kind, but Moses says she hopes it won't be the last. If the event is popular, Moses says she'll hold more and expand the outreach.