Faith Vocies group encourages race discussion

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JEFFERSON CITY - From the topics of slavery to Ferguson, advocacy group Faith Voices wants people of all races to talk about racial tension. 

A planned yearlong conversation about race started at Quinn Chapel in Jefferson City, Mo., Monday night. 

Faith Voices dedicated its monthly meeting to engage people in a discussion about the different racial tensions in the community. 

President of Faith Voices, Rev. W.T. Edmonson, said the recent events in Ferguson inspired the group to hold the series of meetings. He said racial issues need to be discussed between all races of people in the community. 

"This country has shied away from having serious conversations about race...slavery...and until we do that, I think we're gonna continue to have some of the same problems that we're having now," he said. 

Faith Voices Board Member Rev. Cassandra Gould said Monday's meeting was the first of many that will address these problems. 

"I anticipate, and I actually hope that there's some tension because that means that we are actually getting real, and we're not just having a surface conversation," she said. 

During the meeting people divided up into small groups to share their stories of discrimination and gain understanding.

Gould said the group will have its second meeting next month.