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Unmasked: Exposing Food Deserts in a Pandemic

  • About This Program

    Our culminating Unmasked conversation will cover how those living in food deserts are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

    Millions of Americans across the country suffer from lack of access to affordable and healthy food options near their homes. Whether from socio-economic challenges or lack of accessible transportation, those living in food deserts experience rippling effects in the form of health problems and further perpetuated cycles of disenfranchisement.

    In this Unmasked conversation, we discuss how Black and Brown people have been disproportionately affected by food deserts. We discuss redlining and other race-based systematic practices as the sources of this multi-layered issue. Join us as we analyze how COVID-19 has made access to economical and nutritional food access even more complicated for those living in food deserts, and what we as a community can do with our voices and resources to combat this issue.

    Founder & Publisher of Glenn Burkins moderates this critical discussion. He will be joined by Executive Director of the Brookhill Community Resource Center Debbie Williams, North Carolina Historian Tom Hanchett, Food Lion Regional Community Relations Specialist Raechelle Petteway, and Founder & Executive Director of The Males Place, Reggie Singleton. Tune in for a thorough conversation on food deserts with voices of varied perspectives from our community.

    The discussion will be streamed via the Gantt Center's YouTube live channel at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 26.

    Gantt Center's YouTube channel

    How To Participate

    Viewing this program is free and open to the public. To chat during the program and contribute your perspective, you will need a YouTube account with a Gmail email address prior to the program. If you do not have a YouTube account, click here for a step-by-step tutorial on creating a YouTube account.

  • About The Panelists

    Debbie Williams, Executive Director

    Debbie Williams is president of the Brookhill Community Association and Executive Director of the Brookhill Community Resource Center. The Brookhill Community Resource Center is dedicated to the well-being of the residents of Brookhill Village. The Center provides services, resources, and opportunities for community residents to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.

    Raechelle Petteway, Regional Community Relations Specialist

    Raechelle is responsible for developing and executing integrated community relations programs in support of Food Lion's philanthropic platform, Food Lion Feeds.

    Reggie Singleton, Founder & Executive Director of The Males Place

    Reggie Singleton is a husband of 30 years with 3 beautiful children. He is a Public Health Strategist and a subject matter expert in Food systems with over 50 years of experience. Reggie is a Health Policy Coordinator with The Department of Public Health. He is the Founder and Executive Director of The Males Place Inc., a non profit that focuses on mentoring, development of Black boys and agriculture. Reggie is a native of The Sea Islands in Charleston S.C and a graduate of The University of South Carolina in Public Health.

    Tom Hanchett, Historian

    Dr. Tom Hanchett is a community historian in Charlotte, NC, consulting with community groups and with Levine Museum of the New South. Previously he served as Staff Historian for 16 years at Levine Museum where he curated the permanent exhibition Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers (named best in the Southeast by the South East Museums Conference), and a string of national-award-winning temporary exhibitions including COURAGE about the Carolina roots of the Brown v. Board civil rights case. Tom’s writings range widely on urban history and Southern culture: a book about Charlotte’s neighborhoods, Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte (UNC Press); an essay exploring the history of US shopping malls; a monthly newspaper column Food From Home; and more. Educated at Cornell University, University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill, he plays fiddle.

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