Race & Healing: A Community Conversation (Part 3)

The final reflection of our three-part blog series Race & Healing: A Community Conversation centers around the distinct role the corporate community plays in these conversations and the profound impact it has. The special Town Hall event kicked off Atlanta’s citywide Race2Read Challenge, which encourages students and their families to read 20 minutes a day to reach the goal of 10-million minutes for the 2020-2021 school year.

The program features valuable insights from students, educators, best-selling authors, business and community leaders on race and how literacy plays a vital role in the discussion.

You can view the thought-provoking Town Hall in its entirety here.

Panelists Derin Dickerson, partner with Alston & Bird and Janet Stovall, former executive communications manager with UPS and current senior director of Social Impact and the UPS Foundation, discuss the roles corporations and the legal profession play in continuing this important conversation.

Responding to questions from area students, Dickerson and Stovall speak passionately about how the legal and business communities can help to address racism.

Zoe Cannon, sixth-grader at Charles R. Drew Charter School asks Dickerson, “What critical work do you see in the legal community to bring healing and hope to students in black communities?”

“I think we are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and I am encouraged to see more and more people committed to the work of equity in their particular environments.

When I think about the concepts of hope and healing, particularly in the context of racial justice, I think that conversation necessarily includes the legal community.

Justice is the realm in which we work; justice is our domain. And when we look at our country’s history, lawyers have played a pivotal role in every aspect of social change and promoting justice.

I see the legal community advocating for fairness, advocating for equity and equality and advocating on behalf of students.”

Ninth-grader Justin Johnson of Carver Early College asks Stovall, “How can business partners help support opportunities that better help us understand each other?”

“I believe business can help move the needle on racial injustice probably better than any entity out there because we have two big things: people and money.

We can help first by making it possible for people within the organization, those of us who work together, to have courageous conversations.

The civil unrest that is happening now has pushed a lot of companies into having these conversations they just never had before.

The conversations we have inside of our own walls help things outside of our walls.”

Race & Healing: A Community Conversation is moderated by CBS46 Anchor Shon Gables and hosted by Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta Public Schools, CBS46, Page Turners Make Great Learners, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and UPS.

To hear about more ways to discuss racial inequities with students and how literacy plays a significant role in the conversation, watch Race & Healing: A Community Conversation.

To learn more about the Atlanta Public Schools Race2Read challenge, in partnership with Urban League of Greater Atlanta, and to start logging your leisure reading minutes today, visit