Breaking Down the Racial Divide

Photo: Diedra Laird, Charlotte Observer

In Charlotte, North Carolina, The Salvation Army set out to serve a large, underserved Hispanic community that had been the target of much tension and violence.

A single, two-bedroom unit in the community’s apartment complex looked like any other unit from the outside, but inside it became known as a safe place that offered afterschool tutoring, games, counseling, and much more for struggling Latino families.

The Salvation Army’s Hispanic Ministry has only been running for about a year, but there’s already a noticeable sense of stability and safety that’s resulted. However, there’s one effect of the outreach that neither the neighborhood nor The Salvation Army expected – a significant decline in racial tension.

The once troubled relationship between the African-American and Hispanic apartment residents has been transformed. Where suspicion and division once dominated, there’s now friendship and a sense of community.

It’s felt by the neighbors, their little children and their teenagers, and yes, even the complex’s landlord. They explain  more in this inspiring story from the Charlotte Observer: Outreach Brings Latino and Black Youths Together

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