In connection with our Welcome to Brookhill exhibition, we will have a series of conversations about the themes in the work.

We open 2019 with a deeper dive into what economic and social mobility mean for Charlotte residents. In a city full of opportunities, what are the factors that prevent lower income residents from advancement? Participants will examine barriers to entry, programs to break the cycle of poverty and consider next steps to ensure equity for all Charlotteans. Join panelists Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr., Gantt Center artist-in-residence, Dr. Dana McDonald, Vice President of Talent Development for Goodwill and Patrice Funderburg, Leading On Opportunity Council Member/Founder, Educate to Engage, LLC for a riveting discussion about the issue. Federico Rios, International and Integration Manager for the City of Charlotte and Leading On Opportunity Council Member will moderate the panel.

About The Panelists

Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr., a native of Rockford, IL, is a professional photographer and image activist currently living in Charlotte, NC. A transplant to the Queen City, Jacobs honed his craft on the front lines of America's social justice movements. He has since emerged as a premier photographer and photo-documentarian. His distinctive aesthetic is marked by a propensity toward highlighting stark contrast and in dealing in the black & white – both in photography and in the world.

Jacobs specializes in social documentary and professional sports, portrait, editorial, and fashion photography. He has been commissioned by the NFL, NBA, and NASCAR and has been interviewed by CNN, HLN, Fox News and various local media outlets. Jacobs’ work has been displayed in a Black History Month exhibit for Clifford Chance, LLP in New York and, currently, he is a featured artist in the co-curated exhibition K(no)w Justice, K(no)w Peace at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte and at Davidson College in the photography exhibit Three Steps Back: A Call To Action. Prior to shooting Welcome to Brookhill, Jacobs was commissioned to photograph multiple record breaking dates for Jay Z’s 4:44 Tour.

Patrice Funderburg is the founder and chief visionary of Educate To Engage LLC (Edu2Engage), a social justice advisory services company with a bold vision to end institutional racism through education, exposure, and engagement. Educate To Engage LLC offers a free community book club and customized consulting services that are designed to build and grow anti-racist transformational change.

Prior to starting Edu2Engage in 2016, Funderburg held positions in corporate Human Resources for 20+ years, including corporate recruiting, diversity and inclusion, vendor/supplier diversity, and human resource operations. In her last corporate role, she was the HR Chief of Staff and Director of HR Operations at Belk, Inc., where she was responsible for supporting the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and functioning as the senior intermediary across the HR executive team and Belk Executive Committee to ensure people organization and business continuity. During the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, Funderburg served as the Deputy Director for business inclusion and procurement processes, and from 2006-2012, she held various positions at Lowe’s Companies, Inc., including Director of Supplier Diversity, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, and Senior Corporate Recruiter.

In 2017, Funderburg became a board member with Center for Community Transitions. She is also a mentor with Changed Choices ‘Changing Our Outlook On Life” (COOOL) program, and substitute instructor with their Courage To Change program at Mecklenburg County Jail North. She is also a member of the Women’s Impact Fund, serving on the Member Engagement and Education committees. An alumna of Leadership Charlotte Class 35 and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Funderburg is a past recipient of the Urban League of the Central Carolinas volunteer of the year award. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Master of Science in Organizational Communication and Development from Canisius College, also in Buffalo.

Dr. Dana McDonald, Vice President of Talent Development at Goodwill Industries, has professional experience in nonprofit, consulting, corporate and education environments. Most recently, she served as the director of Goodwill University and before that, the Associate Dean of Re-Careering Services and Workplace Learning at Central Piedmont Community College, where she created a unique community-focused center and model for job search and career transition services.

In her current role, McDonald oversees all client training and skill development efforts through Goodwill University and the Construction Training Skills Center, developing an impactful connection with employer partners and executing Goodwill’s employee and leadership development strategies to ensure staff remains connected and on track with organizational goals.

Federico Rios is the City of Charlotte’s first International and Integration Manager. In this role, he actively engages Charlotte immigrant communities by creating and enhancing international community and business connections that help build Charlotte’s reputation as a diverse and welcoming community.

A Leading On Opportunity Council Member, Rios formerly served as the program director for the Northeast Learning Community and Newcomer Services programs and the site coordinator for Hidden Valley Elementary with the Communities in Schools program. He has a unique set of skills including experience as a crisis intervention specialist, a qualified mental health professional and a special education teacher. He is a native of Queens, New York and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Rios, along with his wife and two sons, have called Charlotte home for 11 years.

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