The non-profit organization People United to Advance the Dream are planning a series of public workshops aimed at addressing the concerns and divisions that have separated many in the Mobile community following a fatal police shooting locally and others across the country.
The Rev. David Edwards, president of the organization, said these “Healing the Hurt in our Communities” workshops look to examine and hopefully address issues that persisted long before 19-year-old Michael Moore was killed in a confrontation with officer Harold Hurst.

“This effort, these workshops, are designed to help empower our communities one family at a time,” Edwards said. “Families make communities, communities make cities, cities make states and states make countries. Today, we find our country in need of healing.”

So far, two of the “Healing the Hurt” workshops have been scheduled — the first at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at the Emmanuel Seventh Day Adventist Church at 2000 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. and the second on July 28 in Michael Figures Park at the same time.

However, Edwards said his organization has no plans to stop, saying “when we stop having issues, life has stopped existing.”

It was earlier this week that Edwards announced the initiative, which is open to people in every community throughout Mobile County and to people of all “races, ethnicities and religious affiliations.”

As far as the format, each workshop is currently planned to feature a general assembly of those in attendance, which will include guest speakers and presentations. Additionally, Edwards said workshops feature smaller breakout groups for adults, young adults and teenagers to address specific needs and concerns.

He said the organization has already discussed having representatives from Lifeline Counseling services and other professionals on hand to participate in the workshop, extending the invitation to any other interested organization as well.

Edwards said the authorities investigating the shooting of Michael Moore would address the legal process as well as the “civil rights of each and every human being,” but is hopeful “Healing the Hurt” might address the social, the mental and the spiritual needs with Mobile.

“The truth of the matter is we can both look at something — I can see something out of it, and you can see something different. That dosen’t make your impression of what it is wrong, but does make mine wrong either,” Edwards said. “We must come to a place where we can both look at it and appreciate our differences, and these are sometimes issues that go back further than Michael Moore or Trayvon Martin. These are issues that have been embedded in people from their upbringing.”

Edwards said more information on the first two “Healing the Hurt” workshops is available by contacting People United to Advance the Dream at 251-518-8885 or 251-215-9933. Updates on future workshops and other events are also available on the organization’s Facebook page.