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VALLEY FOCUS | Northridge

Church Will Host Race Relations Event

January 12, 1998|KARIMA A. HAYNES

To improve relations among people of different races, cultures and religions, the Los Angeles city attorney's office will host its fourth annual National Days of Dialogue on Race Relations from Jan. 14 to 19 at numerous sites across the country.

In the San Fernando Valley, people of varying backgrounds are expected to gather at 7 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills to discuss ways to increase understanding among diverse groups.

"Our congregation has a real commitment to peace-making," said Rachel Gulliver Dunne, program coordinator and a lay leader at the predominantly white congregation. "We don't just want to talk to each other, we want to talk to people of other races and cultures."

To that end, Dunne said, church leaders made a concerted effort to reach out to minority churches and organizations throughout the Valley to participate in the session.

Discussions will take place in small groups led by facilitators from the city attorney's Dispute Resolution Program, organizers said. Group discussions are expected to last about three hours.

The National Days of Dialogue on Race Relations began in October 1995 following the O.J. Simpson criminal trial and the Million Man March on Washington, D.C. Some 25 community leaders, led by City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, gathered to discuss the state of race relations in Los Angeles, organizers said. In 1997, the concept was adopted in 11 states and this year discussions will be held in 35 cities nationwide.

Several national groups are organizing local efforts, including the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics and Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution.

The church is at 10400 Zelzah Ave.

For more information, call (818) 360-1831.

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