Founded September 25th 1992
Almost 30 years ago…
People to People was organized by many of Newport News’ most prominent civic leaders in response to a series of racial controversies in the community.
On Thursday, September 24, 1992, the group announced its formation and an ambitious plan of developing a greater understanding of racial issues and the City’s problems and needs. Immediate concerns, such as a black representation on the School Board and road construction in the City’s southeastern community, were quickly diffused when this cross section of the community began working together.
These years have been punctuated by flashpoint events.
Some of these events involved the open advocacy of People to People. In others, we chose to work and counsel others behind the scenes. Many others never became flashpoints because of the quiet and effective work of the members of People to People.
Working with our children, we initiated annual race relations summits for youth, conducted race relations training for young people, and sponsored powerful events for teens with NCCJ ‘Anytown’ summer experiences. People to People created programs for the City of Newport News’ Children’s Festivals.
Our annual summits address the issues head on.
Our events have featured some of the most prominent figures in America in race relations and diversity. Others have brought community issues to open forum and interracial discussion. People to People has continued community meetings of over 300 citizens as well as monthly Executive Committee sessions designed to keep an eye on issues that might evolve into flashpoints of racial misunderstanding.
Our publications are received by about 1,800 key citizens and community leaders. There is one objective – to keep the issue of the value of diversity and the importance of race relations on everyone’s mind.
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
The promise offered to members of People to People is to create an atmosphere where people can express their concerns in a non-threatening environment. Regular gatherings held over the years have provided guided teaching on non-confrontational dialogue while employing active listening skills. The result is an environment where the most sensitive racial issues are openly discussed and deliberated by people who want to make a difference.
There are no dues or obligations involved – just a willingness to be a part of the continuing efforts of PEOPLE TO PEOPLE to improve race relations and the quality of life for the citizens of Newport News.