Sign in front of Trinity United Church of Christ in Concord, N.C., publicizing its Racists Anonymous meetings, which the church says are meant to bring about honest discussion and change.
WCNC screenshot

There's Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous … and then there's Racists Anonymous.

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According to WCNC, a Concord, N.C., church has been holding Racists Anonymous meetings on a weekly basis for the past month, and it's been picking up new members.

"What Jesus said is, 'Come see,’” the Rev. Nathan King of the Trinity United Church of Christ told the news station.

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The pastor, tired of shootings and racial unrest, said that he wanted to do more than just pray.

"It seemed like every week we were coming into worship and we were doing another prayer because someone had been killed in the street," King said.

And so Racists Anonymous came into being to "deal with the racism within ourselves and to eliminate the racism within ourselves," as King put it.

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According to the news station, a sister church in California started holding Racists Anonymous meetings and extended the invitation to 20 other congregations to join it in trying to make social change.

King's church took its sister church up on that invitation.

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WCNC reports that each week about a dozen people from varying backgrounds come to the meetings. Most are members of the church, but recently, some new attendees have been coming in from the neighboring community, WCNC reports.

"It's an anonymous meeting, so there's safety in that," King said.

The sessions are led by a licensed therapist, King said, and follow the traditional 12-step model. Attendees are encouraged to talk as much or as little as they choose. And King acknowledges that at the first meeting, it was difficult to speak so freely about a topic that is often seen as taboo.

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"It was difficult," King said. "From day to day, I find myself in that place of racism."

On Wednesday nights, the group members share their everyday experiences with racism and work to place their problems in perspective.

"[The goal is to] change systematic racism in the United States of America,"one of the Racist Anonymous organizers, identified as Carol, told the news station.

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Read more at WCNC.