SCHEDULE

WMCAT 20/20 registration includes eight months of active learning around community prosperity through transformational speakers, art and music, relationship building, and constant discovery. Participants can expect to engage up to six hours each month. Check out the schedule below for October 2020 – May 2021.

Registration is closed.

Overview

Registered attendees received preparatory resources and a guiding framework for engagement in October 2020. A monthly series rhythm began in November and will continue through May 2021:

  • Monthly virtual community meetings on the second Thursday from 12-1:30 pm with a featured keynote speaker, meaningful discussion, and announcements. 
  • Pop-up breakout engagements each month – like panel discussions, performances, and guided conversations.
  • Monthly emailed resources and prompts for individual reflection and online community discussion at your own pace.

Participants will also receive a curated engagement kit during the series, with special treats and learning materials.

Schedule 

October 2020

Registered attendees received preparatory resources and a guiding framework called the “Series Toolkit” for engagement.

November 2020

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, November 12, 2020 from 12 – 1:30 pm.
Sponsored by Steelcase, Inc.

Looking Forward: Equity, Growth, and Community in a Changing (and Divided) America 
Manuel Pastor

[Postponed due to speaker illness] Breakout Engagement Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 1 – 2 pm

How do I become something I don’t see?
The Delta Project

Boys and young men of color are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems. Join the co-founders of The Delta Project to learn how they are connecting young men in the juvenile justice system to mentors and community resources by walking together with them, demonstrating the options they have for meaningful opportunity. Learn more at thedeltaproject.co.

December 2020

Breakout Engagement Monday, December 7, 2020 from 11 am – 12:15 pm

Urbanism for All
Dan Pitera
Jade Heiler
Michael McCulloch
Fatema Sulemanji
Brian Craig

The design and building of our cities have tended to follow a course that creates and reinforces a stratified society, and places that separate, rather than unite. This breakout engagement will look backward briefly, but more importantly look ahead to what can we do, particularly in Grand Rapids, to move toward a more inclusive future in the built environment for neighborhoods and cities.

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 12 – 1:30 pm

Faith and Public Life: The future isn’t centrism, it’s a deeper conversation about our values
Jim Wallis
Elissa Sangalli

Our religious beliefs and faith communities – whether we have them or not – influence our priorities, relationships, work, and how we connect with those around us. The way faith shows up in public life, however, feels increasingly complicated and divided. Perhaps the way forward isn’t centrism – it’s a deeper conversation about our values. How might faith be a positive factor in public life? And how might we bring a values conversation into policy decision-making, our local economies, and justice within our communities?

WMCAT 20/20 Video Series: Exploring Artists’ Visions for the Future
Jasmine Bruce

Breakout Engagement Tuesday, December 15, 2020 from 4 – 5 pm

Creating an Economy That Puts People First

Panel discussion moderated by: Hanna Schulze

Blythe Kazmierczak
Elissa Sangalli
Hitomi Katsumi
Alice Jasper

Successful, vibrant communities thrive when they put people first. These communities are made up of a combination of locally owned businesses, companies that believe good business matters, mission-driven nonprofit organizations, mindful policymaking bodies, and conscious consumers. A People First Economy brings together people who share a common goal to create a thriving, equitable, sustainable,and economically resilient region.

This session will focus on the benefits of creating place-based economies where each participant – from government, non-profit, to corporation, small business, workforce, and consumer – is interdependent, playing an important role in the resiliency and sustainability of communities. Field experts will discuss consumer index theory; how business structures, policies, and practices contribute to financial growth; and how the private and public sectors can work
to create a form of capitalism that works for all people for the long-term.

January 2021

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 12 – 1:30 pm

The Ironies of Poverty 
Eldar Shafir

Drawing on his work and research in cognitive science and behavioral economics, Shafir will discuss the social and behavioral aspects that contribute to the state of poverty in the U.S. today, and how the psychological phenomenon of scarcity plays a role in our understanding of and solutions to community issues.

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 11 am – 12 pm

The COVID Conundrum: Keeping the Best of Pandemic Innovation in K-12
Trudy Ngo-Brown
Kevin Polston
Kyle Lim
Gleason

The onset of the pandemic in March forced immediate pivots and dramatic change for K-12 educators, administrators and community partners. The challenges of shifting data and fluctuating constraints created opportunities for innovative approaches to emerge. Amidst these promising possibilities, how do we ensure equitable access in our new way forward? Join WMCAT’s Director of Arts + Tech Trudy Ngo-Brown for a moderated panel discussion with Kevin Polston of Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, Kyle Lim of Urban Core Collective and Michigan Education Justice Coalition, and Gleason of The Diatribe to unpack what we’ve tried, what’s working, the role of out-of-school time providers, and how we ground this work in equity.

[Postponed due to illness] Breakout Engagement Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 7 – 8 pm

“Health and Wellness” Unpacked: A Community Discussion of Disability, Healthcare, and Exclusion
DisArt

As cities across the country invest in preventative healthcare initiatives (livable city standards, green space for exercise, bicycle paths, etc.) it is important to discuss the cultural, social, and political ramifications on those who do not easily conform to the expectations of “health and wellness.” How do disabled people, those who are chronically ill, or seniors, participate in a city that defines “health” through an ableist lens? Join disability community leaders Christopher Smit, PhD and Jill Vyn, MSW for this community breakout session.

February 2021

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, February 3, 2021 from 11 am – 12 pm

Breaking With Tradition: How Higher Education Is Playing a New Role
Dr. Juan Olivarez
Dr. Philomena Mantella
Dr. Bill Pink

The traditional college student is no longer traditional — they are working adults, returning citizens, parents, veterans, and alumni looking for something new. How can higher education better support these students? And what is the role higher education can play in workforce development and lifelong learning? Dr. Juan Olivarez, distinguished scholar of residence at GVSU’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center, will lead a conversation with Dr. Philomena Mantella, president of Grand Valley State University, and Dr. Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College, around the opportunities for higher education in breaking with tradition.

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 12 – 1:30 pm

The Past, Present, and Future of Our Healthcare System
Sherry Glied
Tasha Blackmon
Darryl Elmouchi, MD, MBA

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, February 17, 2021 from 11 am – 12 pm

Leveraging Disruption
Jill Dark

We are standing in the face of the largest lived experiment in human history. How will you leverage this opportunity for growth? While we may not be able to control our situation; we can take action to shape it. In this session, Jill Dark—applied futurist and director of talent futures at Steelcase—will teach us how to leverage disruption to create new experiences that shape our futures.

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 11 am – 12 pm

How do I become something I don’t see?
The Delta Project

Boys and young men of color are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems. Join the co-founders of The Delta Project to learn how they are connecting young men in the juvenile justice system to mentors and community resources by walking together with them, demonstrating the options they have for meaningful opportunity. Learn more at thedeltaproject.co.

March 2021

Breakout Engagement Tuesday, March 2, 2021 from 1 – 2 pm

To Utilize Your Network, You May Have to Risk It
Mary DeYoung

Our social networks are powerful forces. They shape our identity, provide support, and can even give us a platform for advancing social justice. How do you leverage, and maybe risk, your relative social power for community good? Mary DeYoung of Gray Space Collaborative will lead us through a learning conversation on identifying opportunities to use your network for good, preparing yourself for potential social capital risks, and leveraging your own networks for the important work of social justice.

 

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 12 – 1:30 pm
Sponsored by Lake Michigan Credit Union

Education for Different Bodies
B.A. Parker
How do our education systems, classrooms, and curriculum consider the students they are serving? How might we discern the function of education for different bodies? Drawing from her research and storytelling on This American Life episode “The Miseducation of Castlemont High,” as well as her own lived experience, writer and producer B.A. Parker will highlight the need to center student identity and voice in education.

Breakout Engagement Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 7 – 8 pm

“Health and Wellness” Unpacked: A Community Discussion of Disability, Healthcare, and Exclusion
DisArt

As cities across the country invest in preventative healthcare initiatives (livable city standards, green space for exercise, bicycle paths, etc.) it is important to discuss the cultural, social, and political ramifications on those who do not easily conform to the expectations of “health and wellness.” How do disabled people, those who are chronically ill, or seniors, participate in a city that defines “health” through an ableist lens? Join disability community leaders Christopher Smit, PhD and Jill Vyn, MSW for this community breakout session.

 

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, March 24, 2021 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Creative Pause: Watercolor with WMCAT 20/20
John Cox
Limited to 12 participants.

Art can build community, elevate voice, and prompt reflection. Take a creative pause with us: join WMCAT Teaching Artist John Cox to relax with a virtual watercolor breakout engagement. Good for all skill levels, this engaging painting workshop will provide an introduction to basic watercolor techniques and guided group instruction to create your own piece.

Supplies will be provided.

April 2021

Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 12 – 1:30 pm

The American Dream: When Work Doesn’t Work
David Croom
Rashika Lee
Marissa Guananja 
Kenyatta Brame

Work is seen as the golden ticket to success: get a job, earn money, and you’ll be set. But it’s not that simple. The barriers to earning a living wage, maintaining a job, and growing in a career are numerous. So, if the key to unlocking the American Dream is work – what happens when work doesn’t work for everyone? Speakers Marissa Guananja, David Croom, Rashika Lee, and Kenyatta Brame will illuminate this conundrum and discuss solutions from policy, employer, and employee perspectives on a vision for economic prosperity that works for all.

Our Exploring Artists’ Visions for the Future video series will feature performer and composer Ritsu Katsumata.

 

Breakout Engagement Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sponsored by Fishbeck

It Takes Educated Children to Grow a Village
Dr. Nkechy Ezeh
Alexa Kramer

Think about our future! From the time a child enters school through the third grade, the focus is on learning to read. In the fourth grade that focus changes to reading to learn; according to the U.S. Department of Education, 67 percent of fourth grade students in our country are reading below their grade level. In order for children to be reading to learn in the fourth grade, they must first be ready to learn how to read when entering kindergarten. That’s where early childhood education comes in – resources invested in early childhood education pay off through better outcomes for kids that also save taxpayers money. Join Dr. Nkechy Ezeh and Alexa Kramer for an engaging session to explore the role of early childhood education in advancing community prosperity.

 

Breakout Engagement Tuesday, April 27, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm

The Who, What, Where, and Why of WMCAT
Jamon Alexander
Leanne Rhoads
Amy Knape

Together through WMCAT 20/20 we’re advancing learning, conversation, and growth around the foundations of community prosperity. But do you know why that’s especially important to WMCAT? Get to know the organization behind the series, and how we provide equitable access to opportunity for through impactful programming in workforce development, creative youth development, and innovative social enterprise business models. Join us to learn more – and win some fun WMCAT prizes!

Breakout Engagement Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 1 – 2 p.m.
Sponsored by Express Employment Professionals

What Is Social Capital, Really?
Beca Velazquez-Publes
Janay Brower
Stacy Stout
Andrew Sims

Social capital is both essential and complex. Lived experience, geography, employment, culture, and so much more influence the way we perceive, value, and access social capital. Is it networking or neighborhood? Family or business? Join local leaders Beca Velzquez-Publes, Janay Brower, Stacy Stout, and Andrew Sims – who helped to shape content for the WMCAT 20/20 series – for a conversation on what social capital really means for community.

 

Final Monthly Virtual Community Meeting Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 12 – 1:30 pm
Sponsored by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and Start Garden

Austin Channing Brown

Best-Selling Author and Media Producer

Our Exploring Artists’ Visions for the Future video series will feature photographer and teaching artist, Dennis Grantz.