Starting in July, in conjunction with the Tom Tom Foundation, we are excited to host a summer roundtable series titled Exposed: The Inequities Revealed by Covid-19 and the Path to More Just Small Cities. These diverse conversations will discuss issues of race and equity, and how they affect our community, its members, and structures.
“This is the new normal right now, trying to find creative ways to bring people together to continue the hard and complicated work of creating more equitable systems and structures. COVID-19 has illuminated many systemic inequities that our minority community members have faced for generations. Our hope for a series like this is to engage people in conversations that they might not be having elsewhere, and to arm them with a vocabulary to take these topics back to their communities as a tangible step towards actionable change. It’s by no means a cure-all, but we believe that there is power in both knowledge and dialogue, which is what we hope to bring to bear over the course of this series.”
“Covid-19 has highlighted inequality across many sectors of our society, and citizen leaders are eager to find and discuss real solutions to these problems. This series offers a unique interactive format that engages leaders actively addressing critical issues in our community, and connects them to the changemakers who want to build on that work in Charlottesville, and in United Way communities across the country.”
These round tables will be hosted on the Tom Tom platforms and feature guest speakers like Louis Nelson, Kevin McDonald, Amanda Williford, Sunshine Mathon, Charlene Green, and more. The 7 week series is scheduled to kick of July 15, and sessions will be held each Wednesday through August 15. The conversations will draw United Way affiliates from around the country as well as a cross-section of Charlottesville leaders and community members.
Each hour-long conversation will feature Charlottesville-based leaders leading interactive community dialogues that examine how to build equity across key sectors. Sessions will cover topics such as race and history, equity in early childhood education and healthcare, resident-led public housing development, and how to build successful town-gown partnerships.
To register, the series will feature accessible “pay-what-you-can” pricing to allow broad participation. All donations received will go to the United Way’s Covid Recovery and Resiliency Fund, which has raised over $1.2 million to support individuals, families, and small businesses in the Charlottesville region.
All participants in the series will also receive admission to Tom Tom’s Cities Rising Summit events this fall, with the hope of continuing and building on these conversations.