come meet a black person
A Georgia networking event planned for Thursday night called "Come Meet a Black Person" sparked support and backlash after it was announced. Instagram

A Georgia group scheduled a Thursday networking event called “Come Meet a Black Person,” sparking both positive and negative reactions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.

The event was set to be hosted by Urban MediaMakers, a filmmakers group, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Cheryl Moses, a black woman who created the group, spoke to the Washington Post about wanting to do something different for UMM’s 16th anniversary.

The event's description said the mixer was meant to “positively challenge the negativity” of the “divisive and racist atmosphere of this country” by allowing diverse actors, filmmakers and writers to mingle. Since the event was posted, Moses said people from across the country have called her to express support for her idea, while others criticized the concept of being “put on exhibit.”

The group requested white people who do not have any non-white friends attend the event. Moses cited a 2013 study by the Public Religion Research Institute, which stated 75 percent of white people do not have any non-white friends and 65 percent of black people do not have any white friends. The study also showed that most white people have a group of friends that is 91 percent white.

“It blew me away because as a black person you kind of know most white people don’t have black friends, but to actually see a number— that quantifies it,” she said. "As a black person, I deal with racism every day. It’s a part of life. Nowadays, I have become more fearful.”

“I have never been afraid when it comes to race, but now I am," she added. "And I don’t think I’m alone. I want to do my part to change things."

Moses said she hoped the event would allow white people to feel comfortable starting relationships with black people. She planned for the event to consist of networking and a cultural scavenger hunt to learn about black history, among other activities. Moses’ mixers have previously attracted 60 to 100 people, with an estimated 50 to attend “Come Meet a Black Person.” Tickets for the event were priced at $15, with all proceeds going toward the Young Urban Mediamakers. If the event is a success, Moses said she was interested in making it a regular event to continue the conversation on race.