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Reparations Speaker Series Starts Thursday 

Beginning Thursday, June 3, the City of Asheville will host a speaker series as part of the city’s process to deliver community reparations for Black Asheville. Sponsored in part by Explore Asheville, the series will take place at 6 p.m. over three evenings this month at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville and the public is invited to attend.

The Information Sharing & Truth Telling Speaker Series is Phase 1 of the City of Asheville’s process to deliver community reparations for Black Asheville. This series will feature 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

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.

Topics & Speakers

Past Policies and Practices
Thursday, June 3 | 6- 8 p.m.
Dr. William Turner, Co-author of the book Blacks in Appalachia; former Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences, Winston Salem State University
James E. Ferguson II, Civil Rights Attorney
Sasha Mitchell, Family and Community Historian

Present Trends and Disparities
Thursday, June 10 | 6- 8 p.m.
Rinku Sen, Executive Director of the Narrative Initiative
Dr. Dwight Mullen, Professor Emeriti, UNC Asheville
Jorge Redmond, Assistant District Attorney, Buncombe County
Dr. Marcus Harvey, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, UNC Asheville

Future Initiatives
Thursday, June 17 | 6- 8 p.m.
Tracey Greene-Washington, President, Indigo Innovation Group
Lakesha McDay, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant
Robert Thomas, Racial Justice Coalition Community Liaison

For more information or to register, visit

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