Summer 2015 - In This Issue:

Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Check out our  website to take a closer look at what we have been working on and to stay abreast of what we have in the pipeline!

Be sure to attend the next round of Public Meetings
Monday, July 27 
Noon - 1:30 PM

Tuesday, July 28 
6 PM - 7:30 PM

Both meetings will be held at   University of Richmond Downtown location  at 626 East Broad Street, Suite 100.

Richmond Public Library

Parenting Workshops


The Richmond Public Library is launching its next round of Parenting Workshops. These workshops are FREE for Richmond parents, grandparents, foster parents,

guardians, primary care givers of children ages 0 - 5.


Wednesday, July 29 , 2015

Time: 11:00 am - noon

Place: Richmond Public Library

East End Branch

2414 R Street

Richmond, VA 23223

August 13 -  November 19, 2015
Time: 11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Place: Family Resource Center
2405 Jefferson Avenue
Richmond, VA 23223



Would you or your or organization like to host a Chat 'n' Chew with the staff of the Office of Community Wealth Building?


Chat 'n' Chews are informal discussions around issues related to Community Wealth Building in the city of Richmond. Staff from the Office of Community Wealth Building will present information about the work we are doing and engage in a dialogue with attendees about ways to catalyze that work going forward.  If interested send an email to Christina Mastroianni


This issue recaps the successful Community Wealth Building Summit held at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School on Thursday June 25, 2015. Scroll down to read more about the day.

Mayor Jones' Opening Remarks: Pledge to the City

Mayor Jones opened  the
acknowledging the tragic events of the past few months around the United States and recollecting on Dr. King's warning that we must choose between chaos or community.The Mayor laid out the work accomplished to date by the Office he created and the work to come in the weeks and months ahead. 


"Right now in Richmond we have, apart from college students, about 42,000 people in poverty, including nearly 15,000 children. We need to set a long-term goal of cutting child poverty 50% and overall poverty 40% in the City in the next fifteen years. To accomplish that, we need a concerted, determined focus on creating good jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities married to a serious commitment to train and connect our residents and neighborhood businesses to those opportunities. It is doable, but only if we remain serious in our commitment to lasting change.


"To that end, in the coming months I will be announcing proposals to formally institutionalize the Office of Community Wealth Building as well as related steps to assure that this effort not only continues, but thrives even after my term is complete. Poverty reduction for Richmond cannot be a flavor-of-the-month cause, or a matter of political convenience. It must be a fundamental commitment that informs everything the City of Richmond undertakes."


Read the Entire Transcript Here 


Immediately following the Mayor's remarks Dr. Thad Williamson, Director Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building provided a
"Year One Report to the Community".   The morning session closed out with a brief report from Maggie Walker Citizens Advisory Board co-chairs, the Honorable Ellen 
Robertson, 6th District, Richmond City Council and Albert Walker,  Community-Academic Liaison at the VCU Center on Society and Health.
Panel Session 1: Focus on Education



The Education panel moderated by Dr. Risha Berry of the Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building focused on strategies Richmond is developing to recognize and address the impact of poverty on educational outcomes and strategies to build a strong cradle-to-career pipeline.


The panelists were:

Panel Session Two: Focus on Employment, Economic Security, and Social Enterprise Development


Moderated by Evette Roots, Social Enterprise Specialist with the Office of Community Wealth Building, this panel focused on the current state of the City with respect to jobs and job creation and the working taking place within the public and private sector to increase opportunities for both employers and job seekers. 



The panelists were: 

Panel Session Three: My Brother's Keeper

As a followup to remarks from Adrian Saenz, Special Assistant to President Obama about the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Challenge, this panel focused on the work currently being done in Richmond to support young men of color and the challenges ahead.


The six goals of the MBK Challenge are:

  • Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready
  • Ensuring all children read at grade level by 3rd grade
  • Ensuring all youth graduate from high school
  • Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training
  • Ensuring all youth out of school are employed
  • Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime


Led by moderator Damon Jiggetts of the Peter Paul Development Center, the panelists discussed the work they are currently engaged in within the community aimed specifically at young men of color. 


The panelists were: 

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The day closed with the official launch of RVA Future, the critical first step of a long-term effort to increase the number of Richmond Public Schools graduates going on to college or career training. 


In the 2015-16 school year, at least three Richmond high schools will have full-time professional staff at "Future Centers" charged with engaging every high school student, every year, in planning for their future. The goal is to assure each student has an achievable plan for going on to a two or four-year college or to a career or technical training program with promise of leading to quality employment. Staff will guide students and families through the steps needed to achieve students' goals and work to help build strong career and college-going cultures within each high school.


Mayor Jones presenting the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation with a $425,000 check for RVA Future.
Reynolds Community College President, Dr. Gary Rhodes, accepting the RVA Future Charge.


Rev. Ben Campbell of the RPS Education Foundation Board acknowledging the acceptance of funds from the City of Richmond for RVA Future.

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$300,000 Grant for Early Childhood Initiatives
On June 24, the City of Richmond announced the award of a $300,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. The grant was awarded to support the city's continued work toward a stronger system of early childhood development and education. This award is a direct result of the work of the Early Childhood Task Force, convened last August by the Mayor's Office of Community Wealth Building in collaboration with Richmond Public Schools and with the participation of numerous early childhood providers and community organizations.
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For more information about the Office of Community Wealth Building, click here. To speak to someone from our staff, please call 804-646-1300. To find out how you can get involved, email us or call us at 804-646-1300.