Teatime for Peace helps strangers come together to talk race, religion and politics

CLEVELAND - Dozens of people gathered for Teatime for Peace. The monthly gatherings introduce a room full of strangers and encourage conversation about race, religion and politics.

Attendees are encouraged to sit at a table with people they do not know.

"The conversation is becoming more common, and the conversation is becoming less taboo,” said Chava Witt, Assistant Director for Student Involvement at Cleveland State University. "That’s the hope."

Isam Zaiem said the gatherings started during the presidential elections, as he felt America was growing more divided.

"When people get to know each other then they stop hating,” said Zaiem. "They tend to get their information from stereotypical media. We may pray differently, but we worship the same God. Isis is to Islam, what the KKK is to Christianity."

"A lot of stereotypes are being transformed,” said Khalid Samad. "There’s just a lot of things that people don't know about other folk’s religions the practices. some aspects of theology."

The next teatime will be held at Fairmont Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd, Beachwood, on June 27, at 7 p.m.

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