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Oct 08

UnmaskingHR Series Address Region's History

Posted on October 8, 2019 at 9:30 AM by Sharon Hoggard

Unmasking Hampton Roads (#UnmaskingHR), a three-part learning series occurring twice this fall, will examine the historic and contemporary impact of racism in Hampton Roads. #UnmaskingHR is presented by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in partnership with Virginia Humanities.

Both Unmasking Hampton Roads series will feature shared meals, performance art, discussions and workshops. The Oct. 10, 17 and 19 series will focus on Norfolk and Virginia Beach, with the Nov. 14, 21 and 23 series focusing on Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk.

The goal of #UnmaskingHR is to help participants:
• understand the historic and contemporary role racism plays in the Hampton Roads region;
• talk honestly about the effects of racism in their lives, and;
• learn tools to recognize and address racial biases and disparities through professionally-facilitated workshops.

“It is important we understand the history of race and the way racism impacts our society so we can begin to heal and bring about change,” says Vivian Oden, vice president for special projects at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. “Unmasking Hampton Roads is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to have a safe space to have meaningful conversations about race.”

Unmasking Hampton Roads is the second event in a new partnership between the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Virginia Humanities, “Beneath the Surface: Race and the History of Race in South Hampton Roads.” The initiative aims to deepen awareness of the role race and racism play in issues confronting the region, and lay groundwork for positive transformation. A public conversation with Dr. Beverly Tatum on May 30 was the first event in the initiative. “Unmasking Hampton Roads is the third Unmasking Series in the state of Virginia,”
says series co-creator Samantha Willis, a writer and project consultant with Virginia Humanities. The Unmasking series began in Richmond in 2016, continued in Charlottesville in 2018, and has now come to Hampton Roads. “The series is a timely contribution to critical local and national dialogue about race and racism,” says Willis.

There is no cost to attend #UnmaskingHR, but seats are limited and registration is required. Register and learn more: Follow the series on social media: #UnmaskingHR
Learn more about Hampton Roads Community Foundation at, and about Virginia Humanities at