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Individuals and groups talked about the increase in crime and disrespect for others. Leaders from churches, synagogues and mosques met and decided to hold a conference to discuss these concerns.

The conference would be held in a school cafeteria at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday evening in hopes that this time would not conflict with any religious  gatherings. Light refreshments would be provided.

The Staple Singers

Speakers as well as musical entertainment would focus on the theme: Respect, self-control and self-help.

Flyers would be posted and distributed that included the names and contact information of agencies that helped people mentally, physically and financially.

The first musical selection sung by a resident at the conference was the song “Respect.”

“If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody’s s’posed to respect you. …If you’re walking ’round think’n that the world owes you something ’cause you’re here
You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here. …

“Respect yourself…”

(The song was recorded in 1972 by the Staple Singers, an American gospel, soul and R&B group, and written by Luther Thomas Ingram and Mark Rice.)

All of the speakers talked about the importance of respecting oneself and others. Some of them spoke to and encouraged one’s connection to a Higher Power.

The conference ended with a chorus made up of people of varying ethnicities, faiths and ages singing “Fix Me.”

…I’m sometimes up and sometimes down and sometimes almost level to the ground. …I need you to fix me. …”

(This was from the album Hallelujah Is The Highest Praise by Timothy Wright, Jerome Ferrell and The Lighthouse Interdenominational Choir. The Sound of Gospel Records released it in 1987.)

*Fix Me, a well known gospel song, has lyrics that vary according to the person(s) singing the song. The author is unknown.

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