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Religious Leaders Seek To Change 'Irrational Racial Fear'

Ann Thompson
Rev. Chris Beard (at the podium) and other religious leaders call for local and national leaders to respond with love and respect in the wake of recent killings.

Standing unified at Tryed Stone New Beginnings Church in Bond Hill, members of the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic faiths came together Tuesday to tone down what they call, "irrational racial fear," and take steps toward positive change.

Reverend Chris Beard of Peoples Church in Cincinnati started the news conference by saying, "Enough is enough... it's time for the race discussion to change."

The religious leaders standing behind Beard agreed when he said, "There is no fear in love."

Brother Jerry Culbreth of Tryed Stone New Beginnings Church wants to make sure people know this is not just another news conference with talk and no action. " He says, "There is a call for change."

He's suggesting:

  • The government embrace a culture of transparency.
  • Make police department policies available for review.
  • Collect, maintain and analyze demographic data on all officer-involved shootings.
  • Adopt policies that seek written consent before any search.
  • Require independent criminal investigations into all officer-involved fatalities.

Culbreth said change can also happen if people help solve problems at early stages of life, like preventing infant mortality, childhood poverty, and violence in the streets.
He encourages the community to attend a meeting at the United Way August 9, 2016 from 11:30-1:30. Volunteers with various initiatives are scheduled to give an update on how they are helping the African-American Community.

Karen Dabdoub, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations says, "We can take on this challenge and we must. With open hearts and open minds, this challenge must be met and must be overcome."

"There's never one good place to start," laments Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp, "except probably with your heart, the way you share your voice, and that's what this is right now. It's one step, trusting there'll be a second step, a third step and a fourth step."