Residents of Birmingham's trouble-hit area of Lozells gathered on Wednesday night and vowed to try to rebuild bridges between the communities.
Mr McFarland addressed the Peace and Justice meeting
At a meeting in Winson Green they asked for more resources to be poured into the community.
Writer Gary McFarland told the Peace and Justice meeting it was now time to do something positive.
A weekend of rioting is said to have been sparked by a claim that a black girl was raped by several Asian men.
Mr McFarland said: "There are hundreds of people from all sides of the community talking positively about where the problems came from in the first place and what we are going to do about it.
"It is the only way to get things changed."
A 23-year-old was stabbed to death by a group of up to 11 men on Saturday and a man was shot during trouble on Sunday.
Street pastor Sylvia Josephes said people had tried to destroy the community, but they had not been successful.
"The leaders are coming together, the community is coming together and we believe we can say our community is being restored to where it was before the trouble and beyond that," she said.
The meeting was organised by Handsworth and Aston RESPECT.