About Conversations Matter

We believe that meaningful conversations are a powerful tool in the work against inequality.

In January and February 2021, Main Street Connect, Montgomery County Collaboration Council, Donte’s Boxing & Wellness Foundation and Virtues Matter came together for a FREE weekly, virtual four-part series to:

  • Affirm that American History is Black History and that Black History is American History
  • Explore the Intersectionality of Disability and Race
  • Ignite Action to Make Changes that will have a Lasting Impact


Prior to the series, we encouraged participants to engage with materials (including readings, videos  and websites) that are related to the topics of the series. Click HERE for a list of suggested materials.  

Following the series, we encourage participants to continue their learning journey. HERE are some resources to help.

Please follow this link HERE from the Catalogue for Philanthropy for a list of nonprofits who are doing meaningful race equity work.

Session Dates & Topics

Tuesday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM
Local Black History

Watch the recording here

Slides from Shellee Haynesworth

Slides from Philip J. Merrill

What drove us to participate in Conversations Matter? What do we know about racism, Black history and the key moments in our history which formed how we live today? What do we want to learn?

We seek to understand the experience of people of color throughout our local history and how that has shaped where we are today. Elijah Wheeler, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council, leads a panel conversation with Dr. Philip J. Merrill and Shellee Haynesworth.

Tuesday, January 26 @ 7:00 PM
Race X Disability

Watch the recording here

People of color and people with disabilities are faced with too many similar injustices. Find a person of color who also has disabilities, and we can see that the hurdles and roadblocks they experience are exacerbated.

How can we expand opportunities so we can all achieve our goals, aspirations, and dreams? What can we do to support our peers, loved ones, friends and co-workers with dignity and respect? Joining us for this session are Tatiana Lee, an actress, model and Hollywood Inclusion Associate at RespectAbility, and Lachi, a performing artist, disability champion and speaker with RespectAbility’s Disability Speakers Bureau.

Tuesday, February 2 @ 5:15 PM
Taking Action

Watch the recording here

Slides from Rodney Glasgow

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis

In the search for answers, we often find more questions. What can we do? Where can we do it? When should we start? How else can we get involved? Connections made through Conversations Matter can be a resource to propel you to action.

This inspiring session will be led by noted speaker, facilitator, trainer and activist in the areas of diversity, equity, and social justice and Head of School for Sandy Spring Friends School, Rodney Glasgow.

Tuesday, February 9 @ 7:00 PM
Sustain the Change

Watch the recording here

Our willingness to ask questions and seek answers is a powerful tool in creating and sustaining change. It’s time to debrief, unpack, and use all that energy to power up momentum. We hope you will leave the series as an informed community member and better neighbor with a desire to continue engaging in complex conversations.

These complex conversations that matter will be led by two of our key thought partners, Dara Feldman of Virtues Matter and Donte Brown of Donte’s Boxing & Wellness Foundation. We will also be joined by Barbara Talley, poet, speaker, mindfulness leader and relative of Harriet Tubman.

Key Partners:

Main Street Logo - Large

Conversations Matter is made possible in part by the generosity and support of Maryland Humanities and an anonymous donor.
See press release for the event here.