Dallas, TX – August 15, 2016 – Thousands are expected to attend the 2nd Annual “Together We Ball” Basketball Game and Community Day is scheduled for Sunday, August 28, from 2-6 p.m. at P.C. Cobb Field House, 1702 Robert B. Cullum Blvd. in Dallas. The annual event features a day of community engagement designed to strengthened relationships between police and community. The game culminates with pastors, community, business leaders and police officers playing basketball. The event is free, along with free giveaways, entertainment, face-painting, balloon artists, kops and kids, basketball and more. The event will also feature an exhibition game between Madison High School and Bishop Dunne and an old school free throw contest to include Judge Clay Jenkins, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, State Senator Royce West, and other community leaders, business owners and elected officials.
Sponsored by Project Unity, The Dallas Police Department, United Methodist Communications, The Dallas Independent School District and others, the annual game aims to build partnerships between the community and law enforcement in North Texas.
Pastor Richie Butler of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Downtown Dallas, founded Project UNITY as a result of a 2015 community forum hosted at St. Paul that included Dallas Chief of Police, Dallas County District Attorney and the Dallas County Sheriff in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision.
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. And on July 7th Dallas experienced its own tragic events, but fortunately didn’t lead to weeks of community unrest as did Ferguson, Missouri.
“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 can continue to expect positive results and cool heads when tragedy knocks on our door.
Some of the Together We Ball players and coaches include:
- George Lynch, Director of Player Development, 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
- State Senator Royce West
- Trustee Bernadette Nutall, Dallas Independent School District
- Ron Crain, Dallas Bar Association President-Elect
- Pastor Arthur Jones, St. Andrews UMC of Plano
- Linda McMahon, President & CEO of the Real Estate Council
- Terry Flowers, Headmaster of St. Philips School & Community Center
Some of the participating churches include: St. Paul United Methodist Church, True Lee Baptist Church, Concord Church, Disciple Community Church, First United Methodist Church of Dallas, St. Andrews UMC of Plano, University Park United Methodist Church, St. Luke United Methodist Church, and Discipleship Ministries, and more.
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 community to make a difference in the world. Other sponsors include, Dallas ISD, Dallas Bar Association, St. Andrews UMC Plano, DPD, National Police Athletic League, St. Paul UMC and more.
Interested in participating? Visit togetherweball.com or contact Toska Medlock Lee at 214.922.0000.