A Letter From Our Leadership

Project Unity

What unites us is greater than what divides us.

During the chaos that followed World War II, Winston Churchill famously told colleagues to “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Project Unity has embraced that perspective in the face of COVID-19’s continuing grip on our community, widening economic uncertainty, and growing calls for social and racial equality.

Last year managed to be both a reckoning and a revelation for communities and business leaders. At Project Unity, we focused on developing innovative programming and strengthening and deepening our partnerships to address real-time challenges, especially those in communities that faced barriers and disparities in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Our amazing partners, donors and volunteers overwhelmed us with support that allowed us to transition our COVID-19 testing program to a vaccination initiative in underserved communities. Combined, we administered more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccinations thus contributing to a healthier Dallas.

In 2021, we paused two of our signature programs—Together We Ball™ and Together We Sing—to protect the health and safety of our staff and community members. Meanwhile, we made remarkable strides in addressing race relations and racial equality through our active signature programs. We forged ahead with Together We Can™, Together We Dine™ and Together We Learn™ by leveraging talent and technology, setting participation records in two of the three programs.

We are particularly proud to have organically evolved into a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) solution for organizations of all sizes. More than a dozen organizations embraced our DEI programming last year, including companies like Lennox International and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The future of our innovative DEI services is exciting and bright.

As we look ahead, we are highly optimistic. Interest in our programs is increasing significantly across the board and our portfolio of partners has never been larger. Our team of employees, volunteers, Board members, supporters and partners is second to none. Thank you for being amazing!

The following pages highlight last year’s success stories and our clear and enthusiastic resolve in our mission. We invite you to join the Project Unity community and remember that “what unites us is greater than what divides us.”


Board of Directors

Founder and
Chief Visionary Officer
Senior Pastor St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church

Chair, Interfaith Council
Executive Director,
Faith Forward Dallas

State Representative,
District 113
Texas House of Representatives

Founder, MEADE

DPD Community Affairs
Community Engagement
Operations Bureau

Commercial Real Estate Sales Consultant
C82 Commercial
Masterplan Land Use Experts

Senior Pastor, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church


Visit ProjectUnity.net  →

Our Programs



One of the most difficult consequences of the pandemic was the forced social distancing, the disconnect, the inability to get together in groups. Still, the needs of underserved communities in Dallas County did not slow or stop under the threat of COVID-19. In many ways, they worsened. So as 10 million COVID-19 vaccinations were initially distributed throughout Texas in March 2020, the natural next step from our Together We Test program was to ensure communities of color had equal access to necessary vaccines and educational resources.

In April 2021, we masked up and met people where they were when they needed to protect their health the most, hosting an average of four pop-up clinics per month, predominately south of downtown Dallas where health disparities existed long before COVID-19. Many residents had been unable to find or reach other vaccine providers because of challenges with work hours, childcare, transportation or communication/technology access, yet others had been uncertain about the effects of the vaccine and just needed fact-based information and reassurance.  

“We administered thousands of COVID-19 vaccines through Together We Vaccinate but spending time in the community listening allowed us to experience the true impact on lives and families through their own stories,” explained Katt Anderson, community foundation manager for Catalyst Health Group, our healthcare partner during COVID-19 testing.

As pop-up events increased accessibility, Project Unity also hosted vaccination drives at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, where Pastor Butler ministers. Together, we administered more than 2,600 vaccinations at 50 locations across 15 Zip Codes.

“The most important take away from Together We Vaccinate has been that we deeply need one another to approach our most difficult challenges. Protecting our community during COVID-19 has required an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Anderson added. “When each contributor brings their strengths and resources to enhance that of others, we will have the greatest impact. Fostering relationships and working together is what will allow us to do better tomorrow than we did today.”

Together We Vaccinate by the Numbers

  • 2,665        Number of Vaccinations Administered
  • 50             Number of Vaccination Events Held
  • 121            1Number of Zip Codes Served



It’s all about the a-ha moments at a Together We Dine™ event. The format is straightforward but profound in its simplicity: a group of strangers are invited to sit down over a meal  to engage in non-confrontational, safe and honest conversation about race. The number of guests varies by event but most important, attendees listen to each other’s stories and life experiences. That, says PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Christal Thompson, is the key element.

“When it comes to crossing cultural and racial divides, we all have areas of growth and blind spots where we can be more culturally sensitive,” she explained. “In the quest to build a global culture of diversity, acknowledgement and acceptance is the first step.” 

In 2020, for the first time since the Together We Dine™ program launched four years prior, diners could not share a meal and converse in-person. The pandemic required all scheduled dines to be virtual, but the creative solution-making of staff transitioned the in-person table discussions to a Zoom platform without diminishing the spirit of the experience.

Even in an unexpected pandemic pivot, Charlene Edwards, Director of Programs and Events at Project Unity, forecasted record participation in 2021 and she was right—1,396 people joined 32 dines in 2020 and in 2021, more than 2,800 people attended 76 dines, a new participation record for the program. Zoom created an opportunity to welcome more individuals from more areas, including diners from partner companies Toyota and NTT DATA Services.

“As we grow and learn to become more empathetic, Project Unity has shown me and others at our firm that by having a conversation, we begin to understand that differences can actually unite us rather than divide us,” Thompson added.

Together We DineTM by the Numbers

  • 2,822       Number of Dine Participants
  • 76            Number of Dines Conducted
  • 88            Percent of participants who responded that the “Dine” experience impacted their perspective on race/race relations at least positively.
  • 84            Percent of participants who better respected the opinions of others because of their “Dine” experience



Created as a community-edifying initiative, the three components of our Together We Can program invites individuals, corporations and organizations to engage in the process of building a lifestyle of mindfulness and action against racism. In 2021, we completed our first full year of programming following a soft launch in late 2020. Last year saw Together We Can evolve into an exciting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) solution. Haynes and Boone, The Richards Group and the Dallas Mavericks are a few of the partners who joined us in 2021.

“As we engage in the constant journey of learning, we often come to recognize what we don’t know and that there is still work to be done,” says Richie Butler. “Together We Can is a great option to facilitate that work.”

The immediate success of the program makes one thing clear—people want to know what they can do to help and improve race relations, and participation in Together We Can is one actionable step for anyone looking to effect change. The program provides tools and activities that can be performed in one hour or less to create impact, like introspection and engagement exercises, and public action items. Our mailing list thrived last year with 850 individuals enrolled to receive Together We Can’s monthly action items.

The second component of the program entails wearing a Together We Can wristband. In doing so, participating individuals make a visible statement against racism—and reject silence and complicity—to become part of the solution. More than 13,000 wristbands were distributed in 2021.

Together We Can continued to elevate discussions that build racial bridges by engaging people in cultural learning experiences. Attending at least one Together We Dine event, either in person or virtually, is the third element of Together We Can. Thousands of individuals have participated in the one-hour program. Each event sparks courageous and safe conversations about race over a meal.

Advancing our DEI solution that includes Together We Can and other measures is a high-priority for the coming years.

Together We CanTM by the Numbers

  • 12            Organizational Partners
  • 850         New Individual Program Enrollees
  • 13,145      Together We Can Wristbands Distributed



In 2016, our founder partnered with Sgt. Sheldon Smith, a 28-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and president of the National Black Police Association, to develop Together We Learn™.  The program was an instant success. Part classroom session, part hands-on session that simulates real-life police interactions, instructors from the Dallas Police Department teach teens what to do—and not do—during traffic and pedestrian stops. They also humanize the fears officers have about their own safety as they approach an unknown vehicle.

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, heightened tension between law enforcement and Black and brown communities created an opportunity for Together We Learn™ to facilitate candid dialogue between police and the community. The information provided during these sessions is lifesaving. It’s also made the program all the more critical to help heal distrust and nurture effective communication between citizens and the 3,000 Dallas Police Officers.

“When I grew up, a police officer never talked to me and told me what I should do if I’m stopped. They never tried to educate me. Not everything police officers do is right and there’s a lot of uncertainty with the community on what to do when they encounter police. They have questions,” said Smith, who based the format for Together We Learn on an existing National Black Police Association program.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of in-person Together We Learn™ workshops in 2020, Project Unity temporarily pivoted to a virtual format to keep things going. But we found the experience is most effective in person and took another pause until late 2021 when in-person programming resumed with resounding success.

“What we do through Together We Learn™ gives us an opportunity to bridge gaps between the community and the police department. Project Unity is a worthy partner because they are about doing what’s right,” said Smith. “This is important. It saves lives.”

Together We LearnTM by the Numbers

  • 600           Number of Students Trained
  • 91%           Number of Students Whose Understanding of Driving Laws Improved
  • 95%          Number of Students Whose Understanding of How to Act and React to Law Enforcement during a Traffic and Pedestrian Stop Improved
  • 75%          Number of Students Who had a Positive Perception Change about Law Enforcement After Training


Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners


Recognizing Our Volunteers


2021 marked another remarkable year of volunteer support. Volunteers were crucial participants in every event we hosted last year. Dozens of dedicated volunteers served as trained facilitators at our Together We Dine events. Others endured inclement weather to manage parking and patient comfort at our outdoor Together We Vaccinate events. “The volunteers were well-versed in the operation of the vaccination clinics and really worked our pop-up clinics more like paid staff than just volunteers,” said Charlene Edwards. Our volunteers gave almost 2,000 hours of their personal time in helping Project Unity serve our community. In addition, Dallas Police officers gave their time developing and improving the content for our Together We Learn program as we began the transition to in-person events. We cannot adequately express the importance of and appreciation for our wonderful volunteers, many of whom gave their time and talent to multiple programs.

Last year would not have been the demonstration of resilience and dexterity that it was without the help of our incredible volunteers.

Thank you, volunteers!

Volunteers by the Numbers

  • 794               Assignments Filled
  • 1,935             Hours Served

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Enjoying these stories? There’s even more on our website, ProjectUnity.net! Stay up to date on our community impact initiatives, meet our Project Unity leadership and team, view upcoming events and more.





A Look Ahead

Words From Our Founder

P.O. Box 224486 | Dallas, Texas 75222 | 469-779-7121