American Cities Rebuilding 2020 – Schedule

Please note that the schedule is subject to change,
but will be updated and current both here and on the event site.


8:45am: Welcome from Hon. Ras Baraka (Mayor, City of Newark, NJ)

9:00am – 10:40am “Reimagining the Urban Economy

Moderated by Hari Sreenivasan, Anchor, PBS NewsHour Weekend

  • 9:00am – 9:30am: Hari Sreenivasan hosts a fireside chat with Darren Walker (President, Ford Foundation) and Thasunda Brown Duckett (CEO, Chase Consumer Banking)
  • 9:30am – 9:45am: A look inside Audible/Newark Venture Partners/Newark Working Kitchens with Don Katz (Founder and Executive Chairman, Audible)
  • 10:00am – 10:30am: Panel discussion with Alfa Demmellash (CEO/Co-founder, Rising Tide Capital), Roy Weathers (PwC Vice Chair & Societal Engagement and Solutions Leader), and Ebony Thomas (SVP of ESG; Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity Executive, Bank of America)
  • 10:30am – 10:40am: 5-Minute Moment: Arlan Hamilton (Founder + Managing Partner, Backstage Capital)


11:00am – 12:00pm: “Moving Cities Forward: Leadership During Crisis”

Moderated by Michael Hill, Correspondent, NJTV News 

  • 11:00am – 11:30am: Discussion with Hon. Ras Baraka (Mayor, City of Newark, NJ) and Hon. Jorge O. Elorza (Mayor, City of Providence, RI)
  • 11:30am – 11:40am: Lata N. Reddy (Senior Vice President, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial; and, Chair, The Prudential Foundation) joins Mayor Baraka for a discussion on public-private partnerships
  • 11:40am – 11:55pm: Spotlight on Local Hero: Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Deputy Director, Organizing and Advocacy, Ironbound Community Corporation. Her leadership is featured in the documentary The Sacrifice Zone, airing October 15 at 8 p.m. on NJTV.


12:00pm – 1:30pm: BREAK


1:30pm -1:55pm: Spotlight on Housing

  • 1:30pm – 1:40pm TBC
  • 1:45pm – 1:50pm: 5-Minute Moment: Nnenna Lynch (Founder and CEO, Xylem Projects)


2:00pm – 3:30pm: “Education: Raising Our Cities’ Children”

Moderated by John Mooney, Founding Editor, NJ Spotlight 

  • 2:00pm – 2:30pm: One-on-one with Jonathan Holloway (President, Rutgers University) on the future of higher education’s role in cities
  • 2:30pm – 3:00pm: Panel discussion on the digital divide in K-12 education with Evan Marwell (Founder and CEO, EducationSuperHighway) and Karen Cator (President & CEO, Digital Promise)
  • 3:00pm – 3:15pm: Classroom Close-up with Joanna Belcher (Executive Director, KIPP Newark)



9:00am – 10:30am: “Criminal Justice: Equity for All in America’s Cities”

Moderated by Jack Ford, Host, MetroFocus and Correspondent, 60 Minutes Sports

  • 9:00am – 9:30am: Fireside chat with Cory Booker (U.S. Senator, NJ)
  • 9:45am – 10:15am: David Kroman (Staff Writer, Crosscut) leads a panel discussion about Seattle’s recent experiences involving criminal and social justice
  • 10:15am – 10:30am: Spotlight on local policing


 11:00 am – 12:00pm: “Infrastructure: A Ticket to Ride in Post-COVID-19”

Moderated by Jenna Flanagan, Host, MetroFocus 

  • 11:00am – 11:15am TBC
  • 11:15am – 11:45am: Panel discussion about the future of mass transit with Patrick J. Foye, (Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority), Crissy Fanganello (Director, Smart Mobility, Panasonic Corporation of North America); Laura Fox, General Manager, Citi Bike, at Lyft Bikes and Scooters), and Darnell Grisby (Director, Policy Development and Research, American Public Transportation Association)
  • 11:45am – 12:00pm: Spotlight on The #1 Bus Chronicles, a discussion with filmmaker Joel Katz (Documentary Filmmaker; and, Media Arts Professor, NJ City University)


12:00pm – 1:30pm: BREAK


1:30 – 1:45pm: Spotlight on the Arts

Moderated by Mary Alice Williams, former anchor NJTV News

  • 1:30pm – 1:45pm: Fireside chat with James King (Managing Director, Harlem Stage)


2:00pm – 3:30pm: “Healthcare: Flattening the Curve and Addressing the Disparities”

Moderated by Lilo Stainton, Health Care Writer, NJ Spotlight News

  • 2:00pm – 2:15pm: TBC
  • 2:15pm – 2:30pm: Close-up on University Hospital with Shereef Elnahal, MD (President & CEO, University Hospital)
  • 2:30pm – 3:00pm: Richard E. Besser, MD (President & CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH (Director, Rhode Island Department of Health)


 3:30 – 3:45pm Closing

  • Hear from local youth about their vision for our cities’ future
  • Final thoughts from The WNET Group President and CEO, Neal Shapiro


The public is welcome to join the virtual event by registering in advance. Registration is required.

Event Information and Participants