This series of regular forums brings stimulating and provocative speakers to Richmond to explore historic perspectives, current realities, and future hopes for regional cooperation in the Richmond metropolitan area. Leaders from the public and private sectors come together to address key issues and encourage partnership across divides of race, class and jurisdiction.

When people engage, communities change!


Journey to Equity 

Closing the racial equity gap benefits all

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 8:00-10:00 am

Location: University of Richmond Jepson Alumni Center
49 Crenshaw Way, Richmond, VA 23173

Rev. Alvin HerringKeynote: Reverend Alvin Herring is director of racial equity and community engagement for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. His work advances the foundation's mission to support children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success in school, work and life. On an enterprise level, he actively guides the integration of community engagement and racial equity. As a much sought after speaker on campuses and in corporate board rooms, Reverend Herring has been described as a "messenger" of hope and inspiration.

Welcome: Dr. Ronald A. Crutcher, President of the University of Richmond
Remarks: The Honorable Levar M. Stoney, Mayor of the City of Richmond



Countdown to an opening!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Location: Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Dr. John W. Franklin, Senior Manager of the Office of External Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian, will explore the subject of “The role of museums in addressing healing, history and culture.”
September 24, 2016 will see the historic opening of the new museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. President Obama will cut the ribbon to open the doors to the public and commence a week-long celebration. The museum will be a place where everyone can explore the story of America through the lens of the African American experience. This forum provides an opportunity for the Richmond community to learn more about the   museum and discover how our story is part of the narrative. 
Also on the program are Sandra G. Treadway, Library of Virginia, William “Bill” Martin, The Valentine, and Dr. Christy Coleman, American Civil War Museum.  

Event Partners
Library of Virginia
American Civil War Museum
Richmond Peace Education Center
The Valentine
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities




Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 East Franklin, Richmond, VA 23219

Unpacking the Census

This event marks 5 years of sustained efforts to reduce poverty's impact throughout the region and refresh this vision for the future.
Join the conversation with:
Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones 
Tyronne E. Nelson, Henrico County Board of Supervisors 
Carrie E. Coyner, Chesterfield County School Board Vice Chair. 
The program includes presentations from:
Dr. John Moeser, Senior Fellow at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond, who will update the census figures with data from 2015.
Dr. Thad Williamson will spotlight the work of the Office of Community Wealth Building in the City of Richmond and invite comments from the Community Advisory Board and beneficiaries. 

Richmond Annual Report on Poverty Reduction and Community Wealth Building

Event partners:
City of Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building
Hope in the Cities
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities



When: Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 5:30-7:30 pm

Location: YMCA, 2 W Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220

Keynote speaker: Daryl Atkinson

Daryl AtkinsonDaryl V. Atkinson is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) where he focuses on drug policy and criminal justice reform issues. In 1996, Daryl plead guilty to a first-time, non-violent, drug crime and served 40 months in prison. Since his release, Daryl completed college and law school and has become a zealous advocate for second chances for people with criminal records.

In 2014, when Daryl was recognized by the White House as a “Reentry and Employment Champion of Change,” Attorney General Eric Holder recognized Daryl’s transformative journey in his remarks when he said “Daryl overcame his own involvement with the criminal justice  system and has since worked to build a better future not only for himself – but for countless others who deserve a second chance.”     

Join us for a conversation with Daryl Atkinson as we explore issues related to criminal justice.

For more information email or call 804 358-1764

The event is free and open to the public.


Southern coalition for Social Juctice
Richmond Peace Education Center
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communitie
YMCA of Greate Richmond



Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

When: Thursday, January 15, 2015      12:00-2:00 pm

Location: Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 E. Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219

Keynote speaker: Edward Baptist

Author Edward Baptist explains slavery’s central role in the national narrative. The peculiar institution contributed to economics, politics and social life in ways subsequent generations have not wanted to concede. Edward Baptist teaches at Cornell University. He grew up in Durham, NC. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and did his graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. At Cornell, Baptist teaches the history of slavery, the Civil War, American capitalism, digital history, as well as a service-learning for American students to work in schools in rural Jamaica.

Join us for a conversation with Edward Baptist as we explore this thought-provoking narrative.

For more information email or call 804 358-1764

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch can be ordered for $10. Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 am.


Partners include:



Richmond Hill Community
Richmond Peace Education Center
University of Richmond
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
YMCA of Greater Richmond

The program is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Building a healthier future for all 

The social determinants of health  

When: Tuesday, October 7, 2014      12:00-2:00 pm

Location: Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 E. Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219

Keynote speaker: Dr. David Williams

Dr.Williams is the Norman Professor of Public Health and African American Studies at Harvard University.  He is internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.

Download Dr. Williams' presentation

Listen to an interview with Dr. Williams following the forum by Danny Avula, Deputy Director, Richmond Public Health Department.








For questions about the program please email or call 804-358-1764. 

Partner organizations include:
Bon Secours Richmond Health System
Richmond Academy of Medicine
Richmond Peace Education Center
Richmond Times-Dispatch
VCU Center for Health Disparities
YMCA of Greater Richmond
Previous Community Forums

In 2013 Dr. Gail Christopher, vice-president for program strategies yat the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, addressed  the audience at the annual Metropolitan Richmond Day luncheon. Dr. Christopher is a nationally recognized leader in health policy. She has been the driving force behind the Kellogg Foundation's commitment to racial healing and racial equity as an approach to fulfilling its mission of supporting vulnerable children. Read the report.

When people engage, communities change!

- See more at:

Metropolitan Richmond Day 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Hope in the Cities asked: What does emancipation mean in our times? What are the legacies of inequity that must be addressed? What steps do we need to take as a community to become truly free? Addressing these issues as keynote speaker was Rajmohan Gandhi, biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Read the report

Fifteen years of Truth and Trustbuilding in the Region was the theme of the 2011 Metropolitan Richmond Day. The keynote speaker was Dr. John W. Franklin, Director of Partnerships and International Programs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. Read the report

Metrolpolitan Richmond Day 2010 was on the theme of The Trust Factor-Beyond Boundaries. Wallace Stettinius, former Chairman and CEO of Cadmus Communications Corporation, delivered a powerful keynote in which he delineated the steps individuals could take to become trustbuilders.Read the report

Metropolitan Richmond Day 2009 offered an interactive discussion using polling technology and table discussions on education, race relations, and socioeconomic differences. Read the report

The 2008 speaker, former Mayor of Charlotte, NC, Richard Vinroot, addressed hundreds of community leaders drawing on his experience of forging creative partnerships. At the public forum following the breakfast Vinroot engaged with a panel of Richmond citizens. Read the report