On March 7, 2015, a very important, thoughtful, and respectful community conversation took place across the river from us. The Proudly Diverse Caucus, comprised of Norfolk citizens concerned about the quality of life in their city, had its first town hall meeting to focus on issues of public school improvement. Virginian-Pilot Schools Reporter Cherise Newsome was on hand to chronicle the proceedings. (Her excellent summary of the meeting is available at http://hamptonroads.com/2015/03/group-discusses-best-ways-teach-kids-poverty.) The videos of the major part of the conversation are available in four chunks on YouTube:
- The introductory segment – https://youtu.be/QJ6FZNSouks
- Participant introductions – https://youtu.be/OsgPat0j3p4
- Additional introductions and main presentation – https://youtu.be/lvSP09vTQac
- Program wrap up – https://youtu.be/v5FV0W6TTVY
Between segments one and two, the guest presenter, Winchester Public Schools Superintendent Mark Lineberg, shared a video of the “I Have a Dream” presentation by WPS students delivering Dr. King’s iconic speech. Available from https://vimeo.com/116730980, this is an inspiring production. To capture the flavor of the live meeting, we recommend your viewing it prior to the participant introductions. We think you might want to bookmark it to revisit on other occasions.
Although the Proudly Diverse Caucus is surely “part of what makes Norfolk great”, transplanting shoots from the original “plant” to other locales, especially Portsmouth, could help our region fulfill its own potential for greatness. As illuminating as the central conversation about school improvement may be, the inquiry into what “diversity” means should stimulate reflection. We hope, therefore, that these videos will serve as a springboard to more discussions in more places that will ultimately produce improvements in the quality of life for all.