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"IT SEEMS SO OVERWHELMING to try to do away with racism one person at a time, but it's a beginning," says Katie Spiller, mother of 6 year old Drew, and Craig, 2. In February 1995 Katie and her husband Curt, joined Community Cousins, a nonprofit program dedicated to bridging the racial gap in one California town. 

"I wanted my kids to have a more multicultural experience," says Katie. Community Cousins pairs up families of similar makeup (number of kids, ages, etc.) but different racial backgrounds. Founder Diane Bock of Leucadia, California started the organization in response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots. "That devastation took place far from my home, but watching it on TV...it hit me that violence and rage respect no geographical boundaries," says Diane. "I felt I had to do something." Community Cousins families spend time interacting with one another at birthday parties and other social events. Currently 186 families are participating in the program. The results speak for themselves: "I've met some of the best families," says Katie Spiller. "Racism is about hating a particular group of people," she continues, "but through Community Cousins you come to see that the individual is not the collective." For more information, call Diane Bock at 760-944-CUZZ(2899).
 
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