Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 6: History and Innovation


Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 6: History and Innovation


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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.

Free Bangura:

Free Egunfemi Bangura is an independent historical strategist and social entrepreneur from Richmond, VA. In 2013, she founded Untold RVA and Untold Tours to inspire non-traditional audiences with bold typography, audio enhanced street art, and urban exploration.

Bangura has been credited as the originator of the international Commemorative Justice movement. She is a member of Richmond Memorial Health Foundation’s Health Equity Artists cohort, a bureau chief at the United States Department of Arts and Culture, a founding member of the BLK RVA action team, a faculty advisor at Initiatives of Change USA, and the elected chair of Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s History and Culture Commission.

Bill Martin:

William “Bill” Martin, director of the Valentine, leads over 50 museum staff members in telling the story of Richmond lifestyle and culture. For more than 20 years, Martin has diversified the Valentine’s programming, expanded Richmond walking tours and group tours, and worked collaboratively in the community to promote city tourism initiatives. Martin holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and an M.A. in Public Administration from Virginia Tech. Following years of experience directing museums in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia, he joined the then-Valentine Museum in 1993 as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Under his leadership, the institution has expanded civic involvement, developed more than 300 themed tours and raised millions for capital improvements, renovated historic structures, and expanded programming.

Date of Submission

December 2021


Richmond Racial Equity Essays


Historians Free Bangura of Untold RVA and The Valentine’s Bill Martin explore how telling the story of history truthfully can spark innovation and long-term change. For them, advancing equity involves truth telling, knowing our own story, and broadening the voices that highlight our past and shape our future.


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Racial Equity in Richmond: Episode 6: History and Innovation