Miss Leaders To Focus On Race Relations At Prayer LuncheonBy Paul Boger | Published 22 Jan 2014 08:30pm |
Mississippi's leaders will come together next week to discuss race relations. MPB's Paul Boger reports leaders believe discussing one of the state's toughest issues will lead to greater understanding on both sides.
Mississippi has a long history of poor race relations, but over the last 50 years the state has made strides to improve it's troubled past.
Senator Kenny Wayne Jones of Canton is Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. He believes what has changed is how people interact with one another.
"We thought there were strides being made, but the only thing that you can say is people never change." said Jones. "As they get older they adapt, and that's what's happening in Mississippi. A lot of people have adaptoded to the changes in society."
Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn, on the other hand, believes the state has done a lot to mend it's race relations. However, he admits Mississippians still have more work to do.
"We need to focused on racial reconciliation in Mississippi." said Gunn. "I think we've done a good job of that, but we've got more to do. Every generation comes along and we need to train them up in a way that says we need to get along with our brother and sisters around the state."
Next week, members of the state legislature, court system and congressional delegation will gather at the Governor's Prayer Luncheon to have a discussion about Mississippi's current race relations.
Neddie Winters is the president of Mission Mississippi -- the group responsible for the Governor's Prayer luncheon. He believes it's important for the state's leadership to talk about difficult topics like race.
"Let's not kind ourselves, race has been an issue in the past in Mississippi, and it's going to continue to be an issue going forward." said Winters. "What we want to do is remove that obstacle. Get that difficulty out of the way, so we can move forward together."
State leaders say they ultimately hope the luncheon will break down traditional racial barriers dividing many of Mississippi's communities.
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