Dallas Police, Pastors and Community Leaders Come Together for Basketball and Healing at "Together We Ball"

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“Together We Ball” basketball game among Dallas police, pastors and city and business leaders will show unity and a collective spirit for the community. The free, public event will take place on Sunday, August 28, from 2-6 p.m. at P.C. Cobb Field House in Dallas.

Pastor Richie Butler of St. Paul's United Methodist Church and first asst. chief Charles Cato of the Dallas Police Department strategize about the "Together We Ball" basketball game on Aug. 9, 2015

Pastor Richie Butler of St. Paul's United Methodist Church and first asst. chief Charles Cato of the Dallas Police Department strategize about the "Together We Ball" basketball game on Aug. 9, 2015

We want to use the significance of what happened in Ferguson, Baltimore and now in Dallas to underscore the need and opportunity to move towards healing and collectively build bridges between communities and law enforcement at home and across the country.

The second annual “Together We Ball” basketball game and community day is scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2016, from 2-6 p.m. at P.C. Cobb Field House, located at 1702 Robert B. Cullum Blvd. in Dallas near Fair Park. The free, public event will feature police officers, pastors and city and business leaders playing basketball together while showing unity and a collective spirit for the community.

Sponsored by Project Unity, The Dallas Police Department, United Methodist Communications, The Dallas Independent School District and others, the annual game builds a partnership between the community and law enforcement in North Texas.

Pastor Richie Butler, of St. Paul United Methodist Church in downtown Dallas, recently founded Project Unity as a result of a 2015 community forum he hosted in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision. It included the Dallas Chief of Police, the Dallas County District Attorney and the Dallas County Sheriff.

On August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, the death of Michael Brown set off a firestorm of protest around the country and exposed a chasm of mistrust between law enforcement and communities.

“We want to use the significance of what happened in Ferguson, Baltimore and now in Dallas to underscore the need and opportunity to move towards healing and collectively build bridges between communities and law enforcement at home and across the country,” said Pastor Butler. “By spending an afternoon building relationships, educating all ages and playing and watching an entertaining game of basketball, we expect positive results ahead.”

Some of the “Together We Ball” players and coaches from the Dallas community include:

  •     George Lynch, Director of Player Development for SMU Men’s basketball team and 12-year NBA veteran
  •     Mike Sorrell, Esq. and President of Paul Quinn College
  •     Pastor Richie Butler, former SMU standout football player
  •     Pastor Bryan Carter, Concord Church
  •     Pastor Andy Stoker, First United Methodist Church of Dallas
  •     Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, Dallas Independent School District
  •     Trustee Lew Blackburn, Dallas Independent School District
  •     Travis Mays, SMU women’s basketball coach, former NBA and UT standout
  •     SMU women’s basketball team
  •     Councilwoman Tiffinni Young
  •     Trustee Bernadette Nutall, Dallas Independent School District
  •     Ron Crain, President-Elect of the Dallas Bar Association
  •     Pastor Arthur Jones, St. Andrews United Methodist Church of Plano
  •     Linda McMahon, President & CEO of the Real Estate Council
  •     Terry Flowers, Headmaster of St. Philips School & Community Center

Participating churches include: St. Paul United Methodist Church, Concord Church, Disciple Community Church, First United Methodist Church of Dallas, St. Andrews United Methodist Church, University Park United Methodist Church, St. Luke United Methodist Church, and Discipleship Ministries, among others.

“Together We Ball” is funded in part by an event grant from United Methodist Communications’ Rethink Church initiative as a way to help local United Methodist churches in their efforts to join with their communities to make a difference in the world.

To learn more, visit TogetherWeBall.com or contact Toska Medlock Lee at 214.922.0000.

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Laura Buchanan
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