Trustbuilding initiative to hold training Fri. and Sat.

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This weekend the Racial Trustbuilding Initiative will once again hold a level one training session for the community.

Curtis Brown, secretary of the initiative’s board, said the group was formed by Ricky Wolfe and Carl Von Epps in 2014. It was led along with Troup County mayors Jim Thornton, Bill Stankiewicz and Drew Ferguson.

Brown said racial issues would come up in discussions with leaders, such as designating where to place sidewalks in parts of the communities.

“The leadership intentionally wanted to identify a way to reduce racial barriers and bring the city together,” Brown said.

Brown said this will be the tenth or eleventh session they have held.

The level one training includes teaching tools for difficult discussions and exercises, such as splitting up events from decades into political and cultural events which show what was happening in the world.

“This is really about meaningful dialogue as a tool to lead to results,” Brown said. “So, several other tools that people can use when they want results. This is one tool in the toolbox of community building that we’ve identified and that we stand behind.”

“So far, we’ve had about 250 citizens in Troup go through training,” Brown said.

Brown said the sessions do not blame people, but are also not “soft and fluffy.” They are meant to reduce barriers.

“We are eagerly looking for people to join us,” Brown said.

“I guess the other part to that is we have a lot of great things going on here. All of our citizens should feel empowered to participate in the success that we’re having.”

The Racial Trustbuilding training-level 1 still has about 15 spots open for the weekend session. The event is free and will be held at the Dickson Assembly Room in Turner Hall on LaGrange College.

The event starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. Meals will be served. Those interested will need to make reservations, Brown said. To make a reservation, go to