REAL TALK—From Ferguson to Charlottesville and Beyond

Aug 14,2019 10:00AM
Aug 14,2019 12:00PM
About the Municipal Action Guide

NLC also released its Municipal Action Guide: Responding to Racial Tension in Your City, which provided the framework for discussion by:

  • Articulating the values that cities can uphold in response to an incident sparked by racial tensions
  • Providing an understanding of the historical impacts of systemic racism, and
  • Sharing tactics and lessons learned by city leaders and communities.


Watch the REAL Talk

Municipal Guidance for Responding to Racial Tension

The National League of Cities' Race Equity And Leadership (REAL) department hosted a dynamic discussion about current local initiatives to address racial tensions and promote healing five years after Ferguson. This REAL Talk on Wednesday, August 14 featured a panel of elected city officials and racial equity thought leaders, at the NLC City-County Leadership Conference Center; 660 N. Capitol Street, NW; Washington, D.C. 20001.

Cities, towns, and villages nationwide respond to racial tension often after a police-involved shooting of a person of color.  August 9, 2019, marked the fifth anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, an event that sparked a wave of protests and riots that surfaced longstanding racial tensions.  On August 12, 2017, confrontations in Charlottesville, Virginia between self-identified white supremacists and counter-protestors resulted in the killing of Heather Heyer and injury of 19 others. 

Panelists included

  • Dr. Wes Bellamy, City Council Member and former Vice Mayor, Charlottesville, VA

  • Betsy Hodges, Former Mayor, Minneapolis, MN

  • Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, The Washington Post

  • Cameron McLay, Deputy Mayor, Madison, WI; former Police Chief, Pittsburgh, PA.


If you have any questions, please contact Kiera White at