Sarah Jane, Amasa and Megan have balanced some well-earned downtime with their diligent preparations for the upcoming classes of Executives and CIVIC Scholars. Right now, we have 40 Executives committed to the Class of 2021 and 34 returning and incoming Scholars, and the staff is finalizing content and venues for this fall’s programming. More details will follow to allow you to join us for the conversations.

CIVIC has always attempted to stay in tune with the issues facing us right here in Virginia.  This spring we brought you updates and insights from decision makers and those on the front lines in our battle against COVID-19, and you’ll be pleased to hear that CIVIC alumni are actively participating in regional efforts to restore our economic prosperity.  As with our last newsletter, you can read more about the ways CIVIC alumni and partners are making a difference across our community. The themes of collaboration and connectivity are the backbone to the region and the Commonwealth’s future success. Building on Community Impact Initiatives from the Class of 2020, you’ll hear from Tom Frantz and John Martin on the megaregion concept and how RVA-757 Connects is going to help shape the economic landscape. Their video interview will give a background on how this idea was first conceived and what the future might look like. We’ll also hear from Akhil Jain about the Crop Foundation Scholarship and opportunities for emerging professionals in the hospitality industry- among those hardest hit by the pandemic.  With the support of CIVIC alumni we can grow opportunities for students in that field right here in the 757.

We all have become acutely aware of the long-overdue and absolutely necessary changes regarding social and racial equity and CIVIC is committed to not just engaging in conversations but identifying ways for our alumni to make a difference.  In this issue of CIVIC IMPACT, you’ll find Pastor Kevin Swann’s insightful thoughts on leadership and where we go from here.  And stay tuned for details on our upcoming discussion with Virginia’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Janice Underwood. 

In these uncertain and disconnected times, perhaps more than ever, it’s important to foster and nurture those relationships which mean so much to you.  CIVIC affords each alumnus/alumna with connections to the issues facing our region and I ask that you consider reaffirming your commitment to CIVIC through membership at the Darden or Fellow level

Take care of yourselves, your families and each other.  I look forward to seeing you all in person when the time is right and seeing you virtually until then.

Kit Chope
CIVIC Leadership Institute Board Chair
Vice President, Sustainability, Port of Virginia