On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 18, attendees will get out and explore the Richmond area by experiencing the rich culture, incredible neighborhoods, and amazing changemakers through impact tours and volunteer activities.
Read more on what’s in store for Experience Day below.
And, to learn more about the many impact experiences and businesses in Richmond you won’t get to visit on Wednesday, October 18, please visit the Tourism Cares Meaningful Travel Map.
ONLY registered attendees should select their top choices. Please note: the Power of Partnership team will do their best to accommodate requests for specific activities. A great deal of consideration goes into providing the best experience for all attendees and to ensure we meet the needs of our community partners. Activities will take place rain or shine.
What to Wear and Bring:
Sankofa Community Orchard is a five-acre food justice and climate resiliency demonstration. The orchard is run by local non-profit, Happily Natural Day, and its founder Duron Chavis. The orchard is a community space that includes a pollinator garden, murals created by local Richmond artists, and an outdoor kitchen and event space.
The orchard runs on volunteer groups and assistance from local community members. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to prep the farm for the fall season by participating in planting, invasive plant removal and other maintenance projects as needed. Attendees will also receive a tour of the orchard to learn more about the history of the land, the community impacts created by the space, and the site’s sustainable farming practices.
Important notes: This experience involves volunteer activities for all abilities. Projects are subject to change due to weather and the needs of the orchard. This experience takes place onsite at an orchard with Porta Johns available.
Don't miss Duron Chavis, Founder of Happily Natural Day, during the Summit’s Tuesday morning Town Hall panel. Learn more at www.thenaturalfestival.com/sankofa.
Note: Walking the Ward with Gary Flowers and Mending Walls Tours will both end at the museum with a chance for attendees to learn and explore the site’s rich history.
The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia celebrates the rich culture and moving histories of African-American people in Virginia and their contributions to the United States. The museum’s mission is to preserve stories that inspire and is a center for community events and engagement. The current exhibition on display is the Art of Freedom II. Learn more at https://blackhistorymuseum.org
Join Gary Flowers for a walking tour of Historic Jackson Ward in the downtown section of his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. This tour includes historic educational, economic, religious, and social institutions that inspired the names, “Black Wall Street” and “The Harlem of the South,” and reflect the Ward’s culturally historic past. Mr. Flowers is an eighth generation Virgininian, and fourth generation of his family to live in Historic Jackson Ward, dating back to his maternal great grandparents, who moved to Jackson Ward in the 1890s.
Important notes: The tour will cover 1.5 miles in distance for approximately 2 hours (not including the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia). Learn more at www.walkingtheward.com
Don't miss Gary Flowers at the Summit’s Wednesday morning Town Hall on our Richmond community panel.
Mending Walls is a collaborative, community-engaged art installation that aims to advance social justice by connecting community members from different backgrounds in conversation to foster empathy, understanding, and healing. This tour offers an opportunity to learn more about the overall mission of the project, and to view and discuss the murals that were created in 2020 in downtown Richmond. Hamilton Glass, artist and founder of the project, will lead participants on the tour. Following the tour, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
Important notes: The tour is approximately 2 hours (not including the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia). Participants will have the opportunity to view 5 - 7 murals (this number can vary depending on the amount of conversation that group engages in at each mural). Learn more at www.mendingwallsrva.com
Don't miss Hamilton Glass during the Summit's Wednesday morning Town Hall our Richmond community panel.
Hidden In Plain Site: Richmond is a VR (virtual reality) exploration of distinct, but easy-to-overlook sites around Richmondthat tells the story of the Black experience throughout history. Featuring actual examples from various angles and ages, these sites will be brought to life using virtual reality technology to display historical imagery over present day locations. Following the tour, attendees will have the opportunity to experience the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Learn more at www.hiddeninplainsite.org.
Important notes: This is a walking tour through the city that will include the opportunity for attendees to view current locations within Richmond as they appeared in the past via virtual reality goggles.
Don't miss Dontrese Brown, co-founder of Hidden in Plain Sight Richmond, at the Summit’s Wednesday morning Town Hall on our Richmond community panel.
In the Beginning… Virginia, Along the Trail of Enslaved Africans. Journey into Richmond’s history to visit the sites where few monuments exist. These newly marked sites tell the other half of the story; the story that lives between the pages of history books — in red, white and black. An interactive experience along the Trail of Enslaved Africans, attendees will have the chance to ponder the impact of enslavement on the enslaved as shared in their own words and from their own view. Walk in our ancestors’ footsteps from their arrival point at the river's edge into Shockoe Bottom, the area of Richmond that housed the holding pens, jails, blocks and burial ground. The interpreters will interweave the narratives of enslaved Africans with historical records, characterizations of the day, and music. Disembarking from your bus and along the walk, participants will have the chance to immerse themselves in past occurrences that impact our perspectives today. Learn more at www.efsinc.org
Important notes: This a walking tour that does occur along some trails and wooded areas along the river, as well as in urban city settings.
Don't miss Omilade Janine Bell, President of the Elegba Folklore Society, during the Summit’s session “The Business of Preserving & Importance of Telling Our Own Stories,” on Tuesday, October 17.
Cultural tourism offers opportunities for travelers to experience the deeper stories of a city — essential and evolutionary stories that are often left out of visitor guides or considered by tour planners. This tour explores the question of “What is a Memorial Park?” Attendees will begin with a visit to the 1847 Hollywood Cemetery, a largely Confederate burial site. It is located on the banks of the James River and spans 135 acres of valleys and hills. Numerous notables have been laid to rest here, including U.S. presidents, Virginian governors and Supreme Court justices, among others. Many were enslavers, and many of the graves are adorned with African architectural elements.
In contrast, attendees will end the afternoon at the 1899 Evergreen Cemetery. Evergreen is the final resting place for African-American contributors to Richmond and beyond. Seventy-six acres, and without perpetual care, it lacks the same attention and financial support as the 1847 Hollywood Cemetery. Nonetheless, visitors can pay homage to Maggie Lena Walker, the first Black woman to found and operate a successful bank that survived her death by many decades, John Mitchell, anti-lynching advocate and publisher of The Richmond Planet, America's first black newspaper, Sarah Garland Jones, the first Black woman to pass the Virginia Medical Board’s examination and the founder of Richmond Community Hospital - the first hospital for African-Americans in Virginia; several Buffalo Soldiers; and many more shapers of American history.
Experience these sacred grounds and the soul of a people. Contemplate equity and inequity in life and in death.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a combined walking and bus tour with a brief volunteering opportunity at the very end. Gloves and tools will be provided. Volunteering is optional and includes plot clearing and brush moving. Participants have the option to use a wheelbarrow and bend to pull weeds by hand. Porta Johns available onsite.
Educational Opportunities – Your Evergreen Cemetery Guide, John Mitchell, has a rich family history that goes deep into Richmond’s past. Learn more by watching the documentary “Birth of a Planet – Richmond on Paper” http://richmondplanet.com.
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