April 18 | Hampton Roads, Virginia
On Thursday, April 15th, Hampton Roads Young Professionals gathered virtually to discuss race in the workplace but it wasn’t your typical conversation.
Water Cooler Conversations, a virtual kickback with Hampton Roads Young Professionals was an event hosted by The Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals, tHRive, The Connect 757, and The Black Systemic Equity Project Inc. This event was a year in the making and was presented right on time to the community. As young professionals, we’ve been invited to the DEI trainings and see all of the company initiatives being established but what does that mean in the day to day within our teams. We were determined to create a space to make these conversations less uncomfortable and more informative for all of us.
The event was moderated by Aleea Slappy Wilson, Norfolk’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer who provided so much insight, energy and empathy in guiding our conversations. Throughout the night attendees were able to rotate between breakout rooms, all held on our favorite pandemic platform, Zoom. Attendees had the option to choose from the following topics:
- Cultural Norms/Microaggressions led by Antione Hines, Founder – The Black Systemic Equity Project Inc.
- Checking Our Privilege led by Tom Marsden – President of tHRive, Young Professionals of the Hampton Roads Chamber
- 2020 Summer of Racial Justice, Allyship, & Legislation – Zakkiyya Cunningham, Personal & Professional Chair, Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace led by Verlaine Quinniey, Founder of The Connect 757 – Social Network for Black Professionals in Hampton Roads
The feedback has been phenomenal and attendees are looking forward to participating in more collaborative conversations.