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Quad City potluck serves up diversity

MOLINE, Illinois–From the laughs, smiles and chatter, it’s hard to tell this group is a group of total strangers. People of all ages, races and reli...

MOLINE, Illinois--From the laughs, smiles and chatter, it's hard to tell this group is a group of total strangers.

People of all ages, races and religions were invited to enjoy a potluck dinner at First Christian Church in Moline on Saturday. The catch, people had to bring a dish representing their culture, and people couldn't sit by anyone they already knew.

"It's been a rewarding experience for me to just see the different culture aspects and really learn from one another," says potluck participant Sarah Jones.

The dinner, Hands Across the Table for Racial Healing, focused on getting to know different types of people by breaking bread and asking questions.

"With all the hate being thrown around these days in the media and everywhere, we thought this is a really good time for us to do this event," says event coordinator Rev. Rich Hendricks.

Organizers say in order to foster strong community relationships, people need to get to know one another.

"We are proactive here in the Quad Cities wanting our community to be a place of love and acceptance for persons of all races and nations and faiths," says Hendricks.

The group worked on acknowledging differences, but also focusing on similarities to create a community of acceptance.

"It's been pretty good so far. I think we'll probably be good friends by the end of this to use one another to try to make a difference," says Jones.