The last month has been devastating for humankind. The Orlando, Florida massacre of 49 LGBT people, the deaths of two African-American men killed by law enforcement and the slaughter of five Dallas police officers rattled us all.

On Sunday, July 10th, New Beginnings Christian Church conducted "Prayer Vigil Against Violence" here at Diversity Richmond. It was a powerful hour as people shared their thoughts and feelings about our recent past.

One African-American mother spoke about her deep concern in raising her two boys in today's world. She has had conversations with her children that white parents see no need to have.

Much of the fear and anger expressed by some LGBT people of color in regards to law enforcement and feeling isolated within our own LGBT community may be difficult for white people (such as me) to understand. But we must try. Actually, we must do more than just try.

I do not know all the answers, but I do know that the first place I have to start is with me. If we are going to have conversations about race, we must be able to be honest and transparent without fear of being attacked by opposing views. We must create safe spaces where we can learn from each other. That is the only way we can change anything.

Our community, our entire society actually, is filled with good people. The vast majority of us want justice and fairness. Getting there is the tough part.

New Beginnings set an excellent example of how to build community. I say thank you to Pastor Lacette Cross and her congregation. They helped the healing begin.

Bill Harrison

Pictured left to right are are Evangelist and Diversity Richmond board member, Luise Farmer of MCC; Pastor Lacette Cross of New Beginnings; Pastor Kenny Callaghan of MCC; Pastor Michael Moore of Mt. Vernon Baptist; and the Rev. E. Taylor Doctor, Diversity Richmond board member.

If you would like to help support the work we do at Diversity Richmond, please mail a check to 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23220, or donate online. We can't do any of this without your support.