Unmasking Hampton Roads events help local residents discuss race issues


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Unmasking Hampton Roads is a learning series designed to help residents of the region take off their masks, get real with each other about race and racism, and work together to make our communities more equitable and inclusive spaces.

The series is inspired by the poem “We Wear the Mask” by African American writer and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. 

Unmasking Hampton Roads is the second event in a new partnership between the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Virginia Humanities, Beneath the Surface: Race and the History of Race in South Hampton Roads.

The initiative focuses on Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. The goal is to deepen awareness of the role race plays in issues confronting the region and to lay groundwork for positive transformation. A public conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum on May 30 was the first event in the initiative, attended by more than 800 residents of the region and viewed via livestream video by more than 1,500 people. 

Oct. 10, Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 events focus on Virginia Beach and Norfolk 
with Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, focusing on Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk.

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