Local Minister Calls For Better Assimilation Of Burmese People

By Scott Sarvay

September 23, 2010 Updated Sep 23, 2010 at 12:31 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A local minister will host a public meeting Friday to discuss how to better educate Burmese refugees on the American ways of life.

Reverend Michael Latham says he became concerned after witnessing a Burmese woman at the Autumn Woods Apartment complex eating food off the ground near a trash bin.

He mentioned Catholic Charities by name in suggesting more should be done to demonstrate our way of life to the Burmese.

Reverend Latham says, “I have not heard from Catholic Charities, all I know at this point is they brought them into our community and they left them, and I hope the Catholic Charities will give me a call and say, well, Reverend this is what we're doing."

Debra Schmidt of Catholic Charities says, “I believe that there possibly could be growing tensions, and in order to try to dispel that and to educate us on how to better respond to those things as a community, that's why we've invited the Center for Preventing Hate in."

That's a federal education initiative focused on reducing anti-immigration bias across the U.S.

Reverend Latham's meeting will be held Friday at 10 am in the Renaissance Baptist Church on Hanna Street.

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