Multi-Grammy Award winning artist Erica Campbell performs during Project Unity’s Together We Sing, June 15. – Photo by Tiffani M. Turner/The Dallas Examiner

(The Dallas Examiner) – Project Unity has aimed to host community programs and events that will build and sustain a stronger, more united community as it relates to race relations and relationships between law enforcement and citizens in Dallas and throughout North Texas, since 2017.

The group operates “under the belief that what unites us is greater than what divides us,” according to the website.


One of the events, Together We Dine, is a monthly program that brings people from the Dallas area, from different walks of life and of various ages and backgrounds, together to break bread and have candid conversations about race relations.

This month, held June 13, the program was entitled “UNITY Dine.”

During the dine, Richie Butler, founder and chief visionary officer of Project Unity, explained that the organization is simply focused on bridging divides within Dallas, but not without the help and partnership of businesses, schools, colleges and law enforcement.

Leah Templeton, diversity and inclusion manager at Texas Instruments, participated in the event and explained that she has partnered with Project Unity to gain knowledge that can be shared with employees where she works. 

Other participants expressed that they desired to become skilled in identifying and eradicating workplace bias based on race, gender or sexual preference. Project Unity offers training and presentations in these areas to organizations throughout the city.

During the event, participants were seated at tables of six to eight people. Each table had a facilitator. After dinner, the facilitator passed around a stack of thought-provoking questions related to race and gender equality. Each participant selected one question from the stack and was given a maximum of two minutes to answer the question.

During these two minutes, only the person answering their question could speak. All other participants at the table were required to just listen. Once each person had read and responded to their “Tell me about a time when…” or “How would you respond to…”-type question, time was given for open dialogue amongst the table.

The group also hosts a monthly Together We Dine, Virtually event, in which people across the country can participate. The online events are much like the in-person events, except virtual attendees are divided into groups of four or five – plus one facilitator – into breakout rooms.

Unity through music

Another Project Unity event is the annual Together We Sing. This year, the event featured multi-Grammy Award winning artist Erica Campbell, as the Project Unity Choir teamed up with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a powerful performance, June 15. Demond Fernandez of WFAA-TV hosted the event.

Troy Vincent Sr., NFL executive vice president of football operations, was in attendance to receive the “Together We” Trailblazer Award, and producer, rapper and writer DJ Spinderella made an appearance to curate the sounds behind the 50 Years of Hip Hop tribute.

Set one began with the choir and orchestra rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing. Shortly after, Campbell took the stage to wow the audience with her hits Positive, I Need Just a Little More Jesus and I Just Can’t Give Up Now. She then pointed to a gentleman in the audience whose mother, Pam, had recently been diagnosed with dementia. She said that had spoken to her prior to the show about how much her song, Help, had always been a blessing to his mother.

She then closed out her set with a shortened versions of Help and I Can’t Give Up Now.

Project Unity has curated six different programs:

• Together We Dine and Together We Dine, Virtually – Meeting individuals where they are through the power of listening.

• Together We Learn – Promoting safety, mutual respect and understanding through the power of learning.

• Together We Ball – Promoting the power of unity through sports.

• Together We Can – Promoting the power of personal action.

• Together We Sing – Building bridges through the power of unity through music.

• The Collab Lab – Promoting the power of collaboration.

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