We come today with good news for our community.

There is a group of local leaders, who are from various sectors of the community, that have been gathering together to talk about the dynamics and impact of racism and racial division on our local community. The diversity of the group emerges from areas of business, education, nonprofit and the faith community, which allows us to have broad conversations.

We have no political affiliations as a group. We are learning a great deal from our conversations with each other as each person brings different ideas, experiences and perspectives to this issue.

From these times together we have formed a movement entitled 3rd Culture. The vision and mission of 3rd Culture is simple: to help defeat racism and racial division in our community through the power of relationships. While our group varies greatly in our life experiences and in our understanding of potential solutions to combat racism and racial division, the one thing we all agree on is that significant relationships with people of another race changes one’s perspective for the good.

Even the best of ideas cannot succeed in a community where the culture does not allow those ideas to take root and to grow. 3rd Culture recognizes the many efforts being made by leaders and citizens in Rocky Mount to move our community forward in the area of race relations, and we celebrate the diversity of those efforts.

  • Sunday night, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. will be our Forum on Race. This event is sponsored by N.C. Wesleyan and other nonprofits in the area. Our special guest will be Dr. Scott Hagan, president of North Central University in Minneapolis, Minn. As a pastor, author and college president, Scott will share lessons learned about racial healing since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This forum will also include a discussion by a local panel of our 3rd Culture Leaders. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this is a closed event but it will be broadcast on Facebook Live from the 3rd Culture Facebook page.
  • Sunday, Nov. 8, will be our 3rd Culture Supper Night. Join in with hundreds in our community as we share a meal together in your home or a restaurant with someone of a different race to share lessons from our life journey related to race.

We hope many of you in our community will join in these events.

Prayerfully and respectfully submitted,

Pastor Richard Gurganus,

Bishop Haywood Parker

Rocky Mount