Schul Forum 2024: Our Connecting Spaces

Categories: General News

On February 1, 2024 more than 175 people attended the 2024 Schul Forum: Our Connecting Spaces where we examined the spaces and places where we connect with one another: our neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, the places where we work, play, and create.

We asked ourselves: What builds authentic relationships within them? What are the factors that prevent bonds from developing in these areas and, honestly, does it even matter, particularly in terms of the significant challenges that our communities face? Recent research from the Opportunity Insights team, led by Dr. Raj Chetty of Harvard University, suggests it does.

According to this research, the places where we connect may enable us to build cross-class friendships and networks that ultimately contribute to an improved quality of life and greater economic connectedness. Last fall, through our virtual Schul Conversations, we met at The Intersection of Arts, Culture, and Community and discussed Mixed-Income Communities and Placemaking Initiatives as points of connection, focusing on both the challenges and opportunities for economic prosperity in these areas. Then, in partnership with the Chancellor’s Speaker Series, Dr. Raj Chetty was welcomed to Charlotte on Nov. 14. to extend the regional conversation on economic mobility and the ongoing work to ensure opportunity for all in the Charlotte region. Watch a replay of Chetty’s livestream, courtesy of WFAE, here.

Last week, we continued the conversation by taking a closer look at Our Connecting Spaces, asking how those areas enable connection or create barriers to economic connectedness. And we added communities of faith and the education continuum to the exchange. We didn’t shy away from what’s in the ground that makes connecting across differences difficult. We also focused on identifying the actions we can take to facilitate relationships and build networks that propel us toward an improved quality of life and economic prosperity for all. We thank all those who attended and lent their voices to the dialogue.

A recap of the forum along with videos of the keynote panel discussion and other photos and videos will be posted within the next few weeks. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the recap and videos are available.

Full schedule and description of the concurrent sessions are below.

2024 Schul Forum – Schedule

1:00 Opening & Welcome
1:30 Our Connecting Spaces (concurrent sessions)

  • Arts & Culture
  • Communities of Faith
  • Education Continuum
  • Mixed-Income Communities

3:00 Snacks & Gambrell Faculty Fellows Poster Session
4:00 Key Note/Facilitated Panel Discussion