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  • Sharon Dunn

Atlanta church reaches out to learn about Hands Across the Hills

“The tensions in our city are high,” says the Rev. Ed Bacon of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta GA, who reached out to Paula Green to learn more about how residents of Leverett MA bridged with Eastern Kentucky after the 2016 election. Bacon had heard the recent NPR feature where Green and Kentuckian Gwen Johnson talked about the two groups bonding despite differences in politics and economics.

Green, in a filmed Zoom conversation, recounts how Hands Across the Hills formed and evolved after the 2016 election starkly revealed the national divide. She emphasizes always that finding humanity and dignity in everyone is

ultimately the key to bridging. “We learned a person is a lot more than who they voted for,” Green says.

“What can we do?” the Reverend asked, and Green replied, “The clergy in Georgia has a significant role to play. You are visible, you are trusted, you are respected. Churches can encourage non-violent demonstrations, remind their

members that the ‘other’ is not their enemy. You can lower the temperature, and if you work together, you could provide a much needed national model that others regions can follow.”

View full video by clicking image below:

Paula Green, right, with Gwen Johnson


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