NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Pharrell Williams is bringing back his forum event focused on diversity in business this November to Norfolk, this time over three days and with a new name.
“Mighty Dream” will bring together business leaders with the goal of “advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within their organizations.”
Unlike 2021’s “Elephant in the Room,” this forum will take place over three days instead of just one, from November 1-3.
Robby Wells, the executive producer for the event, says a 1,000-person tent will be erected outside MacArthur Center where the majority of the large panels will occur.
In addition to “thought leadership, idea exchange, networking” and “progressive conversation,” the event will also have “engaging food and entertainment experiences,” Williams says.
“Elephant in the Room” was held in October 2021 at Norfolk State University, months after Williams’ cousin Donovon Lynch was fatally shot by a Virginia Beach police officer. Following the shooting, Williams also pulled his “Something in the Water” festival from Virginia Beach, citing a “toxic energy” with the city.
However Williams did just recently meet with Virginia Beach leaders in New York City. He’s still a partner in the project to redevelop the former Dome site at the Oceanfront.
As far as bringing back Something in the Water to Virginia Beach? Sources close to Williams did say he’s made no promises to keep the festival in Washington, D.C. after it was moved there this year, and that he doesn’t want the festival to leave the Mid-Atlantic region.
Back in Norfolk, Williams is also in negotiations with the city to redevelop Military Circle Mall and possibly bring a new arena to the region.