The Information Sharing & Truth Telling Speaker Series is Phase 1 of the City of Asheville’s process to deliver community reparations for Black Asheville. Hosted by the City and sponsored in part by Explore Asheville, this series features local and national speakers who will come together to share information and facilitated discussions with community members about past policies and practices, present trends and disparities and future initiatives to:

  • Provide a better understanding of policy impacts and where those impacts occurred
  • Identify and understand current disparities and areas that need focus
  • Identify barriers to addressing generational wealth
  • Inspire our community to identify collaborative opportunities to create a more equitable Asheville

Topics, Dates & Speakers

PAST POLICIES & PRACTICES: June 3, 2021 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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  • Dr. William Turner, co-author of the book Blacks in Appalachia; research associate to Roots author Alex Haley; former Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences, Winston Salem State University.
  • James E. Ferguson II, native of Asheville and graduate of Stephens-Lee High School; founding partner of the firm Ferguson Chambers and Sumter, one of the most prominent civil rights litigation firms in North Carolina and cooperating attorneys of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
  • Sasha Mitchell, Family and community historian; former chair of the Asheville Buncombe County African American Heritage Commission.
PRESENT TRENDS & DISPARITIES: June 10, 2021 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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  • Rinku Sen, Executive Director of the Narrative Initiative
  • Dr. Dwight Mullen, Professor Emeriti, UNCA
  • Jorge Redmond, Assistant District Attorney, Buncombe County
  • Dr. Marcus Harvey, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, UNCA
FUTURE INITIATIVES: June 17, 2021 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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  • Tracey Greene-Washington, President, Indigo Innovation Group
  • Lakesha McDay, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant
  • Robert Thomas, Racial Justice Coalition Community Liaison

More Details About the Series

Dr. Darin Waters, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Associate Professor of History at UNC Asheville and co-host of the “Waters and Harvey Radio Show” and podcast will serve as moderator.

All events will take place at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville, 87 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.

The series is open to the public and will also be streamed live. Audience participation will be managed through pre-event sign up. Childcare will be available on-site for school age children. Find recordings of the events on the City of Asheville YouTube page.

Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and McKibbon Hospitality are Presenting Sponsors with additional support provided by Duke Energy.