America to Me: Race, Equity and Education


On April 2, 2019, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation sponsored an Understanding Hampton Roads forum exploring the intersection of race, equity and education. The forum at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center at Norfolk State University featured the first episode of the America To Me documentary followed by a panel discussion. Partners for the event were NSU and its Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College with Norfolk Southern Corporation. 

The 10-part documentary series America To Me provides an inside look into Oak Park and River Forest High School in suburban Chicago. Produced and directed by Steve James, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and James Madison University alumnus, the series examines racial inequities within the educational system.

Watch all 10 episodes of the America to Me documentary on or download them from Educators can watch for free on through June 2019 using this code: ATM2019. 

*Note: The documentary contains some adult language.  

Photo gallery of the event:

The event panelists included:






Two of the documentary's stars, Ke'Shawn Kumsa and his mom Danielle Robinson

Viviana Andrade-Fullwood
Owner of All Academics Plus

Myaah Hayes,
Norfolk State University student in the Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College

Rodney Jordan,
Board member of Norfolk Public Schools

Dr. Aaron Spence,
Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Moderator: Barbara Hamm Lee,
Host of WHRV's Another View

About Understanding Hampton Roads

Understanding Hampton Roads is the Hampton Roads Community Foundation’s effort to advance civic engagement in Southeastern Virginia. It includes forums on key topics to help build understanding and inspire action that brings people together to help improve life in our region.

Event Host

 The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. It has awarded more than $280 million since 1950 to make life better in Hampton Roads. The community foundation’s vision is a thriving community with opportunity for all.

Presenting Sponsor

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials.

Event Partners

Norfolk State University is a comprehensive urban public institution committed to transforming the lives of generations of students and alumni who have gone on to rewarding lives and careers, often exceeding their own expectations. The university's Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College also is a partner in the forum. It provides an enhanced academic experience and lively sense of community for high-ability NSU students in and across all the disciplines.