American Cities Rebuilding 2020

As we attempt to address the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and the struggle for social justice across the nation, now is the moment to foster meaningful discussions around reimagining and rebuilding our cities. New circumstances are bringing new challenges, and convening nationally recognized voices and experts to share ideas could not be more pressing.

American Cities Rebuilding is the first of an ongoing series of convenings addressing issues for cities in New Jersey and across America, with a hyper-focus on urban concerns through the dual lenses of COVID-19 and social justice. Taking place Oct. 14-16, it utilized a combination of broadcast, digital and virtual tools to connect dynamic voices from around the country. Issues that may determine how cities newly emerge as resilient and thriving ecosystems were examined along with the persistent and new problems facing urban communities. And potential solutions and programs that can offer paths forward were explored.



WATCH: A welcome from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka


American Cities Rebuilding Highlights

WATCH: American Cities Rebuilding 2020 Highlights

American Cities Rebuilding Highlights

Urban economy

WATCH: Reimagining the urban economy

Reimagining the Urban Economy

WATCH: How to reverse the course on an economy in crisis

WATCH: A look inside Audible

WATCH: Five minutes with Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital


Criminal justice

WATCH: Criminal justice equity for American cities

WATCH: What Seattle learned from the summer of 2020


Health equity

WATCH: Flattening the curve and addressing health care disparities

WATCH: Close-up on University Hospital, Newark

WATCH: How data informs health outcomes

Leadership during crisis

WATCH: Mayors during a crisis

WATCH: The power of public-private partnerships

WATCH: Five minutes with Newark organizer Maria Lopez-Nuñez


Redevelopment and land use

WATCH: A walk through Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia

WATCH: Five minutes with Nnenna Lynch on redevelopment and community


The pandemic and the arts

WATCH: Spotlight on the arts



WATCH: The future of mass transit

WATCH: Filmmaker discussion on ‘The #1 Bus Chronicles’


Education and our cities

WATCH: One-on-one with Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway

WATCH: Closing the digital divide

WATCH: Zoom-bombing a 10th grade AP history class



WATCH: Young voices from Newark


View the full schedule


• Aisha Glover, Vice President of Urban Innovation, Global Center for Urban Development, Audible
• Alfa Demmellash, CEO/Cofounder, Rising Tide Capital
• Arlan Hamilton, Founder + Managing Partner, Backstage Capital
• Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Anchor, CNN and Host, Amanpour & Company
• Cory Booker, US Senator, NJ
• Darnell Grisby, Director, Policy Development and Research, American Public Transportation Association
• Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
• David Kroman, Staff Reporter, Crosscut
• Don Katz, Founder and Executive Chairman, Audible
• Ebony Thomas, SVP of ESG; Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity Executive, Bank of America
• Erika Anthony, Executive Director, Ohio Transformation Fund
• Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO, EducationSuperHighway
• Hari Sreenivasan, PBS NewsHour Weekend Anchor
• Jack Ford, Host, MetroFocus & Correspondent 60 Minutes Sports
• James King, Managing Director, Harlem Stage
• Jeffrey Brenner, MD, Founder, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
• Joanna Belcher, Executive Director, KIPP Newark
• Joel Katz, Documentary Filmmaker; and, Media Arts Professor, NJ City University
• John Mooney, Founder, NJ Spotlight
• Jonathan Holloway, President, Rutgers University
• Karen Cator, CEO, Digital Promise
• Kemi Alli, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Henry J. Austin Health Center
• Lata N. Reddy, Senior Vice President, Inclusive Solutions, Prudential Financial; and, Chair, The Prudential Foundation
• Laura Fox, General Manager, Citi Bike, at Lyft Bikes and Scooters
• Lilo Stainton, Health care writer, NJ Spotlight News
• Marc Morial, president of National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans
• Mayor Jorge O. Elorza (Providence, RI)
• Mayor Ras Baraka (Newark)
• Michael Hill, Correspondent, NJTV News
• Neal Shapiro, President & CEO, WNET
• Nnenna Lynch, Founder & CEO, Xylem Projects
• Norm Stamper, former Chief of Police, Seattle, and Author, How to Fix America’s Police
• Patrick J. Foye, Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
• Richard E. Besser, MD, President & CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
• Roy Weathers, PwC Vice Chair & Societal Engagement and Solutions Leader
• Shereef Elnahal, MD, President & CEO, University Hospital
• Tara Moss, Seattle-King County LEAD Project Director, Public Defender Association
• Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO, Chase Consumer Banking
• Walter Isaacson, host, Amanpour & Co.


Major funding for American Cities Rebuilding is provided by:



For information on our sponsorship levels and benefits, download our American Cities Rebuilding Sponsorship brochure.

For questions about this event, please fill out our contact us form.

American Cities Rebuilding is a collaboration between NJTV, New Jersey’s statewide public media newsroom; partner newsroom, NJ Spotlight News, a leading source of digital public policy, environmental and education news in New Jersey; and, WNET, the nation’s flagship public media organization.