RRD began in Alpharetta, GA in June of 2018 under the inspiration and leadership of Jack McBride, a retired white clergyman. McBride, who passed away in April, 2021, had long been an advocate for racial justice. He had served in a predominantly black parish, and participated in the final leg of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march of 1965.
In the spring of 2018, with racial tensions building throughout America due to shootings of young black men, McBride declared to a few friends “We HAVE to do something!” After some brainstorming, they decided on RRD.
In June, they announced the first meeting through local media, church bulletins, flyers and word of mouth. Only a handful of people showed up. They persisted, and within a few months larger numbers were attending. People of different races were actually talking to each other, often for the first time, and friendships were developing. In 2019 the meetings were moved from a church classroom to Alpharetta City Hall. Undeterred by the Covid pandemic, monthly meetings continued through Zoom. In June 2021, meetings resumed at the City Hall.
“Jack had a foundational principle to dismantle racism and discrimination. He espoused that we are sisters’ and brothers’ keepers because we are one human family. He imparted to the group that we should love our neighbor because in our circle everyone is included. He gave us the banner to continue to emphatically confront and address racism and bias in all forms.”Alexis Chase, Ph.D.