Tim Kaine shares the 'powerful' wisdom he learned from attending a predominantly black church

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Race has emerged as one of the primary issues of the 2016 election cycle. Over the course of the heated and long campaign both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been criticized for their relationship with race. Trump has been called a "bigot and a racist," while during the Democratic primary Clinton was slapped with a similar label by former rival Bernie Sanders. However Senator Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate, views proximity as an essential step in dampening racial tensions.

During an interview with AOL.com News, Kaine recalled a "great line of Martin Luther King's -- 'The most segregated hour of the week is 11 o'clock Sunday morning.'"

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Tim Kaine attends a predominantly black church
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Tim Kaine attends a predominantly black church
RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 30: Tim Kaine, C, and his wife Anne Holton are long-time members of the predominantly African American St. Elizabeth Catholic Church on Sunday, September 30, 2012, in Richmond, VA. One member of the church, Maeola Strother of Richmond said that Kaine was a 'mentor for my daughter when she was in middle school. Now, she's 36. He always stays the same person. His titles never changed him.' The former Virginia governor Kaine is in a heated run against another former Virginia governor, George Allen, for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb. In addition to being a former Virginia governor, Kaine, a Democrat , is a former mayor of Richmond and a Virginia Lt. governor. Kaine's wife, Holton, has been active in the campaign, making appearances around the state on her husband's behalf. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 30: While leaving church and before hitting the road to campaign in northern Virginia, Tim Kaine, R, gives his wife, Anne Holton, a kiss outside St. Elizabeth Catholic Church on Sunday, September 30, 2012, in Richmond, VA. The former Virginia governor Kaine is in a heated run against another former Virginia governor, George Allen, for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb. In addition to being a former Virginia governor, Kaine, a Democrat , is a former mayor of Richmond and a Virginia Lt. governor. Kaine's wife, Holton, has been active in the campaign, making appearances around the state on her husband's behalf. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 31: (L-R) Anne Holton, democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen Tim Kaine (D-VA) sit on their campaign bus after attending church services Amani Temple Ministries on July 31, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are wrapping up their three-day bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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The particular MLK quote left such an imprint on the Virginia senator that upon returning to the states after working in Honduras during the 1980s, Kaine began attending St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond, Va., a predominantly African-American church.

Kaine says the experience revealed a fundamental contrast between his life and that of millions of minority Americans. "I learned something really powerful. If you're a minority, you have to understand the ways of the majority as a survival mechanism," said Kaine. "If you're in a majority, you don't necessarily have to understand the ways of a minority. You don't have to get out of your own comfort zone and look at your life from different perspectives."

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Senator Tim Kaine through his career
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Senator Tim Kaine through his career
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) react during a campaign rally at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, U.S., July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
DATE:10/06/2001 SLUG:ME/KAINE CREDIT:TRACY A WOODWARD/TWP Candidate for VA Lt Gov. Tim Kaine at Herndon, VA., Homecoming Parade. Along parade route through the town of Herndon; Kaine (center of photo-blue shirt and jacket) shakes hands with Herndon High School student- Nick Palatiello (cq) 18 yrs old. The kids are on one of the Herndon High School floats. Original Filename: MEKAINE2.jpg ORG XMIT: M0110071405302067 (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ME/RICHMOND The second day of the Virginia general assembly. Pictured, Lt. Governor Tim Kaine holds a press conference in the statehouse to introduce his legislative staffers and answer questions from the press. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ME/INAUG DATE: 01/14/2006 CREDIT: Bill O'Leary Governor Tim Kaine is inaugurated at the colonial statehouse in Williamsburg, VA. Pictured, the Governor elect gives a thumbs up signal to the crowd during a long ovation upon his arrival. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine laughs at a remark by President George W. Bush about his wife's needle work while visiting the Jamestown Settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, Sunday, May 13, 2007. (Photo by Dave Bowman/Newport News Daily Press/MCT via Getty Images)
CHESTER, VA - AUGUST 21: Presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) (R) discusses economy with people as Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (L) looks on during a campaign stop at John Tyler Community College August 21, 2008 in Chester, Virginia. The media have been reported that Obama will announce who is his running mate in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
DENVER - AUGUST 28: Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine walks off stage on day four of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High August 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is the first African-American to be officially nominated as a candidate for U.S. president by a major party. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 08: Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and President elect Barack Obama speak at a news conference at the Democratic National Committee headquarters to announce Kaine as the new chair of the DNC on January 8, 2009. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - NOVEMBER 04: Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine answers questions during a press conference at the State Capitol complex November 4, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia. Kaine discussed the results of yesterday's election results during the press conference. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: DNC Chairman Tim Kaine (L) participates in a conference call with Rev. Regena Thomas, Director of Faith and Constituency Outreach in the Chairman's office on September 30, 2010. This was a 5:00 pm Conference call with the National Baptist Convention Leadership. (Photo by Tracy A Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, JULY 13: Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine plays to the crowd during a campaign stop with President Barack Obama at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday, July 13, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MCLEAN, VA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Kaine in encircled by media in the media room of the Capitol One Conference Center following his U.S. Senatorial debate against George Allen on Thursday, September 20, 2012, in McLean, VA. The former Virginia governor Kaine is in a heated run against Allen, another former Virginia governor, for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jim Webb. In addition to being a former Virginia governor, Kaine, a Democrat , is a former mayor of Richmond and a Virginia Lt. governor. Kaine's wife, Holton, has been active in the campaign, making appearances around the state on her husband's behalf. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
FAIRFAX, VA - SEPTEMBER 25: U.S. Senate Democratic candidate and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine answers reporters' questions during a news conference at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station 40 September 25, 2012 in Fairfax, Virginia. The International Association of Fire Fighters union announced its endorsement of Kaine in his race against another former Virginia governor and former U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - November 6 : Former Governor of Virginia, Tim Kanie makes his acceptance speech after winning the Virginia Senate seat from Former Governor George Allen at Kaine's election night party at the Richmond Marriott on November 6, 2012. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: (L-R) Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Anne Holton, and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) attend the Inaugural Youth Ball hosted by OurTime.org at Donald W. Reynolds Center on January 19, 2013 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Michael Kovac/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Junior Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) looks up to think for a moment during a staff meeting in his office on Capitol Hill Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Senator Tim Kaine,D-Virginia, listens to witnesses June 5, 2014 during hearings held by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee On Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on 'Development in Ukraine.' AFP PHOTO / Karen BEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 9: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks with a reporter as he arrives for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) appears in pre taped interview on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Friday June 24, 2016. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
US Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, wave during a campaign rally at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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The vice presidential nominee was married and his children were baptized at St. Elizabeth's over his 30 years in attendance. But Kaine says being placed in a situation where he is in a minority was an "important part of my life over a long period of time, and has really given me a different perspective."

"If you don't get out of your comfort zone, you can't necessarily understand the way the world looks to somebody else and I often encourage friends of mine, 'You know, put yourself in a situation, if you're not in one, put yourself in a situation where you're a minority.'"

See the full interview with Kaine:

Kaine encourages others to do the same in order to not only "learn some things about others but you're also going to learn about yourself," adding that "It doesn't have to be a church, it can be a civic organization, it could be anything, but put yourself in a situation persistently and over time where you're not the majority."

BY: WILLIAM STEAKIN, reporting by MORGAN WHITAKER

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