Project Unity, a Dallas collaborative movement that seeks to unify the community, has launched Phase II of its Together We Test initiative. Through Project Unity’s Together We… Series, it has addressed issues of racial inequities and societal changes (Together We Can); hosted weekly prayer calls that promote healing and racial reconciliation (Together We Pray); hosted meals where safe conversations about race are facilitated between strangers (Together We Dine); provided opportunities for youth to engage with law enforcement to strengthen bonds (Together We Learn), and more.
The latest initiative in the series is Together We Test, a church collaborative that provides free COVID-19 testing to the community. The tests are provided by Project Unity, Catalyst Health Network, and Clinical Pathology Labs.
The following churches are serving as testing sites each on a particular day of the week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
The free tests are available to individuals presenting symptoms and those that are asymptomatic. Participants are required to wear masks, remain in their car, and present a form of identification (valid Texas driver’s license, Texas ID, medical insurance card or military ID). Appointments are not required. Please note that wait times could be up to two hours and the testing sites reserve the right to close early.
Phase I was a pilot program that operated from May 28 to June 30, 2020 at the five church locations. During the five-week pilot, 2,602 people were tested and 4,171 test were administered using the swab method (2,496 tests taken) and the serum antibody method (1,675 tests taken).
At the conclusion of the pilot program, Project Unity decided to continue operations through August using a combination of new and existing church host sites. New churches (not the five listed above) are currently under review and expected to open in August.
Phase II launched on July 7, 2020 with the five churches mentioned above. Based on increased demand, Project Unity anticipates conducting up to 5,000 tests in July.
Given the recent spike in new cases in Dallas County since the Fourth of July holiday, Project Unity and its partners are committed for the long haul.
After the tragic events of July 7, 2016* in Dallas, Pastor Richie Butler hosted a community forum on policing and race relations at St. Paul United Methodist Church that included the former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, former District Attorney Craig Watkins and Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
As a result of that forum, Pastor Butler was convicted to launch an initiative to address the divides in the community and the country. That initiative is called Project Unity.
Project Unity is a collaborative movement based on the faith-driven belief that what unites us is greater than what divides us. Its core focus is building and sustaining community. Its mission is fulfilled through dialogue, community building events and activities, education, and empowerment. Project Unity is hosted in partnership with segments of the community, including faith, business, civic, philanthropic, grassroots and government entities.
To learn more about the Together We… Series, please visit https://www.projectunity.net/why/signature-events/
*On July 7, 2016, an individual ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, killing five officers and injuring nine others, making it the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11.