ATLANTA – A professional group near Atlanta is inviting white people to "Come Meet a Black Person."
That's the title of a networking event planned for Thursday in suburban Lawrenceville by Urban Mediamakers, a consortium of content creators.
"If white folks don't have none of us in their lives, they're the ones missing out," said Cheryle Moses, president and founder of the organization, which hosts an annual film festival in October and also holds a contest for middle school and high school filmmakers.
Moses said she was inspired by research she'd read about that showed that three quarters of white people don't count any non-white people among their friends. She didn't mean for the title of the event to be provocative, she said, but instead wants to build relationships of trust and understanding.
As a black woman, she said, she deals with racism on a daily basis. Rather than sitting around with her friends complaining about the way things are in the country or the world, she wanted to do something about it, she said.
"My question is why do a lot of white folks get offended when anyone brings up race or racism?" she said. "Let's walk through it, talk about it. If we are friends, you can sit down with friends and agree to disagree."
She wants to offer an opportunity for white people who are open to the idea to come and become friends with non-white people in hopes that they will then talk to their white friends about it, she said
"Woke white folks gotta talk to white folks," she said. "They gotta take care of that."
She wasn't sure Tuesday how many people had signed up for the event, which is meant to celebrate the organization's 16th anniversary, but said she's gotten a lot of positive feedback after it was featured by several news outlets.
People who are angered by the event's theme don't understand what she's trying to do, she said.