OKLAHOMA CITY - We're launching a groundbreaking initiative.
In April of last year, we started talking about a project that would eventually be called "United Voice."
Media organizations that usually compete against each other are coming together for a common goal.
Every television station in Oklahoma City, along with the radio stations and the newspaper, are joining forces to promote a healthy dialogue on race.
The mission: To promote honest conversations about race relations in Oklahoma City.
The four Oklahoma men who originally came up with the idea for "United Voice" told us why it's needed.
"So, United Voice, we want to first of all voice the problem. There is a problem. Don't play like there isn't one, there is. In law, in faith, in education, in business, in politics. There are problems," said education consultant Lee Roland. "It is bringing people together, we are sitting down, we are eating together, we are working together and saying, you know what, there's a problem here. We love Oklahoma, we love each other. Let's fix it. Let's make it better."
"Every time something happened around race, you'd see riots in the streets, but even the conversations around the riots, it was just so divisive," said author and speaker for United Voice Clarence Hill. "It's like you'd have one position or you'd have the other position, you'd have this hashtag, you're going to put blue lives matter or you were going to put black lives matter, and there seemed to be no middle ground."
"So, we are having the conversation and this conversation is growing and it is so much more accepted at other peoples' table and other peoples' living room and other events," said Lt. Wayland Cubit with the Oklahoma City Police Department. "I am super hopeful about what Oklahoma can do about race and how we can engage the conversation and be a shining star example for the rest of the country on how we handle race in our city."
"And I love these three gentlemen. I'm a Christian, and I'm told to love my neighbor. Literally, I'm not told, I'm commanded, if you are a Christian, you are commanded to do that," said media consultant John Rossi. "And I've gotten, these are three of my best friends, I love them dearly and we break bread and we sometimes have the conversations that we get into arguments over, but we're not afraid to have the conversation and that's what we are essentially driving at. Don't be afraid to have the conversation."
Each media outlet in Oklahoma City will be presenting stories involving the good and the bad about what's going on in our state in regard to race.
The ultimate goal is to bring everyone into this conversation, so we will all have a greater understanding of each other.
If you'd like more information on this project, click here.
Mission statement for United Voice: Bringing our local media outlets together to give Oklahoma a united voice in promoting a healthy dialogue on race.