John Chavis Memorial Park City Tour & Workshop

When: Friday, Sept. 26, noon to 5:00pm

Learn about Chavis Park’s historic/cultural significance, engage with key players in the Community Conversation through a park tour and workshop, and take a bus tour of the surrounding South Park East Raleigh neighborhood. The workshop panel will include community members from the project’s Public Leadership Group and project facilitation team members. The bus tour will introduce participants to the history of downtown Raleigh’s African-American community by following the newly-proposed South Park Heritage Walk route, including sites such as Shaw University. The tour will also include sites of present-day cultural and environmental significance such as the Walnut Creek Wetland Center.

* Lunch will be provided.

John Chavis Memorial Park 75th AnniversaryJohn Chavis Memorial Park New Carousel Building

Chavis Park Community Conversation
Presenters: Vernice Miller-Travis and members of the project’s Public Leadership Group

The workshop panel will include community members from the project’s Public Leadership Group and project facilitation team members. Panelists will (1) describe the community context and challenges that led them to civic engagement (2) describe how the Chavis Park Community Conversation supported community listening, reconciliation, leadership development and community reinvestment, (3) identify the signs of justice and hope that have begun to ripple through the broader community as a result of the project and (4) reflect on their experiences as CCD leaders serving as a faithful and collaborative voice for justice in a public or professional context. Participants will hear from the panel, learn about the revised Master Plan for the park, and have the opportunity to engage panelists in Q&A.

About John Chavis Memorial Park:
John Chavis Memorial Park, constructed in 1937 and located in a historically African-American community next to downtown Raleigh, was the only park of its size and programming for African-Americans in the southeast region of the United States during segregation. From 2012-2014, the City of Raleigh sponsored the Chavis Park Community Conversation, a process that has led to the development of a revised Master Plan that identifies 40 million dollars of new capital investments to upgrade and transform the physical landscape of this historically and culturally significant recreational space.

The Chavis Park Community Conversation used a facilitated dialogue process to transform historically fraught relationships between a diverse set of stakeholders (City staff, long-time neighborhood residents, new neighborhood residents and downtown stakeholders) into a deliberative decision-making body with full consensus around the recommendations they propose in the new Master Plan. As a bellwether public space, John Chavis Memorial Park has the potential to transform the relationship of the surrounding neighborhood to the downtown community and build a new and flourishing community between longtime residents, new residents and downtown park users.

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