Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 1: Entrepreneurship and Engagement


Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 1: Entrepreneurship and Engagement


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Interview series, part of the Richmond Racial Equity Essays project. In this podcast, urban planner and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant Ebony Walden talks with 15 Richmonders from all walks of life and sectors to explore their visions for an equitable Richmond, especially as it relates to racial equity, and the strategies that will help us get there. We hope this can be a model for discussion in other U.S. cities.

Melody Short:

As an entrepreneur and co-founder of the Richmond Night Market, Melody supports small business owners and independent artists in areas to include public relations, marketing and business development. Melody currently serves the small business community of Richmond, Virginia with a focus on minority and women owned businesses as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Metropolitan Business League, the Co-founder of The Jackson Ward Collective, a hub for Black business owners and selected partners to share resources, experiences and expertise to build and grow strong, sustainable Black owned businesses in Richmond, VA and as a consultant for the Black Business Opportunity & Investment Study and Virginia Community Capital’s Open For Business Loan Fund.

Adrienne Cole Johnson:

Adrienne is a group facilitator, mediator, and community engagement expert. With deep experience in building movements in the non-profit, education, political and entrepreneurship sectors, she has centered her efforts around creative approaches and equitable engagement. Her academic training and background in macro level social work, keeps a connection to the wider context as she engages on resolving the toughest human challenges. Having served as a Chief of Staff in Congress, and led community-based programs for groups ranging from 500 to 50,000 people, Adrienne’s ability to listen, connect and empathize across traditional barriers make her a remarkable facilitator and conflict resolution expert.

Date of Submission

December 2021


Richmond Racial Equity Essays


Ebony Walden talks with Richmond Night Market and The Artisan Café co-creators Melody Short and Adrienne Cole Johnson about how Richmond can advance racial equity by supporting Black entrepreneurship and improving community engagement.


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Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 1: Entrepreneurship and Engagement