American Cities Rebuilding 2020 – Schedule


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 – 11:45am: 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
  • 11:45am – 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: “City Spaces: Housing, Redevelopment and a Historic Garden”

  • 1:30pm – 1:40pm: Visit to Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia, with Asheed Rasheed, program director
  • 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

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

Moderated by Jenna Flanagan, Host, MetroFocus 

  • 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 – 2:30pm: Live Feature Focus: Jeffrey Brenner, Founder, Camden Coalition and Kemi Alli, Chief Exec Officer, Henry J. Austin Health Center
  • 2:30pm – 2:45pm: Close-up on University Hospital with Shereef Elnahal, MD (President & CEO, University Hospital)
  • 2:45pm – 3:15pm: 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

Event Information and Participants