2021 Virtual Stakeholders Breakfast

2021 Stakeholders Breakfast

2021 Stakeholders Breakfast

Thanks for joining us at this year’s virtual Stakeholders Breakfast.

Friday, December 3 | 8:30 am – 9:30 am


In 2020 we talked about Fault Lines- those divisions, buried in our ground, that produce tremors and upheaval. But the hardest part sometimes comes AFTER the earthquake. The aftershocks, which can occur without notice, often jolt survivors out of a false sense of complacency that the worst is over. These resulting reverberations remind us of our shared responsibility to rebuild on firmer footing.  In this year’s program, CMS Foundation Executive Director Sonja Gantt spoke with Dr. Clint Smith, author of New York Times Bestseller How the Word Is Passed:  A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, about reckoning with aftershocks.


In addition to having an opportunity to connect with each other, we heard from people in the community about how they plan to Recommit, Reconnect, and Rebuild.

Miss the event? Want to watch it again?

A full recap of the 2021 Stakeholders Breakfast is posted below!

Please visit our Things to Do page to stay connected with CBI.

Stakeholders Breakfast 2021 Recap

What do we mean by Aftershocks?

Aftershocks Opener: Ray Feaster

Aftershocks Story: Gina Esquivel

On the Street Community Interviews

How can we recommit to move our community forward?

What can we do to rebuild our community?

How can we reconnect with community and with each other?

What are you most hopeful about?

2021 Musical Guest: JazzArts Charlotte

CBI invited JazzArts Charlotte to perform at this year’s Stakeholders Breakfast and we were all captivated by their music. JazzArts was born in the “aftershocks” of Hurricane Katrina. The organization’s founders, Lonnie and Ocie Davis, fled New Orleans in the wake of the devastating storm and chose Charlotte as their new home. They created JazzArts Charlotte in 2009 to address a great need in Charlotte’s music scene. The organization has become one of Charlotte’s premiere performing arts organizations, serving diverse audiences with outstanding music.
Enjoy this JazzArts performance as they opened our 2021 Stakeholders Breakfast, and learn a little more about the work of CBI as you watch!  For more information about JazzArts Charlotte, please visit https://www.thejazzarts.org/
Program Materials

Stay engaged by downloading the 2021 Stakeholders Breakfast agenda, doodle page, and conversation card.

2021 Special Guest

Clint Smith


Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.


He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.


How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith


Clint Smith’s Newsletter


Sonja Gantt


Sonja Gantt is the Executive Director of the CMS Foundation, ensuring the foundation carries out its mission to support students and educators in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In her role, she oversees the organization’s strategic direction, administration, fundraising and programmatic focus areas. She also serves as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools executive leadership team, a role that gives her deep insight into both the challenges and opportunities within CMS.


Sonja, a Charlotte native, brings a deep knowledge of the local community to her work, having served the majority of her thirty-year media career as a reporter/anchor covering Mecklenburg County and the surrounding region. Her reporting has been celebrated with numerous awards including a Mid-South Regional Emmy in 2011.


Sonja is a proud CMS graduate of East Mecklenburg High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She and her husband (Mitch) have two children who are both CMS graduates.

Thank you Sponsors

(AS OF 12/2/21)

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