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October Officially Proclaimed Racial Reconciliation Month in Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 Oct 2012 04:48pm | comments
Neddie Winters

October is officially being as dedicated as Racial Reconciliation Month. The goal is to help the state overcome its turbulent racial past. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports advocates are using the month to confront the racial challenges now facing the state.

Governor Phil Bryant has named October racial reconciliation month in Mississippi in an effort to encourage understanding and unity between people of different races.

Neddie Winters is President of Mission Mississippi, a group dedicated to fostering relationships between all races and religious denominations that is organizing racial reconciliation events around the state all month.

Winters believes the proclamation will help create a safe climate to discuss race relations.

"We want to encourage people to do activities together to show and highlight and become aware of all the great strides that has happened in Mississippi across the racial divide. And also challenge people to go deeper in their relationships," Winters said.

Part of that effort is bringing people of different races together over a meal.

At a restaurant in Jackson, Ben Gowdey, who is white, and Nathan Stone, who is black, prepare to sit down for lunch.

Gowdey says he invited his co-worker out to take advantage of a discount being offered to mixed race parties as part of Racial Reconciliation Month.

"I think it is a great idea. It encourages people to seek out other races and they might not do that on a normal day and I think that is great," Gowdet said.

Stone says it is important to set an example of how people of different races can get along.

"Once he called me I thought it was a good idea as well. Might as well help the area out and show that interracial activities are not a bad thing," Stone said.

This is the 19th year that Mission Mississippi has used October to encourage racial reconciliation around the state.

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Neddie Winters


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