Thank you to all who attended the second annual Equity Speaker Series, presented in partnership with Blackbaud. Each year, featured speakers bring specialized insight on how equity can be incorporated into conversations about local issues. The keynote speaker for the 2023 event was Jeff Chang, a renowned social historian, organizer, and author; his ground-breaking work in politics, music, arts, and activism has had profound cultural impact within racial justice conversations. He was a driving force behind the deeply emotional #StopAsianHate video and author of the books We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, and Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America.
During the October 3 event, attendees learned about the importance of personal stories and creating a shared narrative. They enthusiastically participated in an exercise to share their own story with a stranger, explaining a value they hold in high regard. Each member actively listened and connected to their partner, building a relationship in the span of only a few minutes. During his keynote address and following Q&A, Chang shared his story of growing up Asian and Native Hawaiian in America, spoke about the power of hip-hop music, the impacts of resegregation, maintaining cautious optimism about social change, and much more.
Please see photos of the 2023 event below. We look foward to seeing the community for the next installment of the series in 2024.