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West Hartford Chamber and Charter Oak State College Foundation Partnering for Program on Economic Disparity


The Charter Oak State College Foundation, in partnership with the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, will hold a virtual lecture on ‘Economic Disparity and Solutions’ on Sept. 17.


The Foundation for Charter Oak State College, Connecticut’s public online college, will hold its Shea Lecture on the timely topic of Economic Disparity and Solutions, via a virtual setting on Sept. 17, 2020, 3:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, registration is requested to join the conversation on Zoom and will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. Visit Charteroak.edu/Foundation or http://bit.ly/Shea2020Details for details.

This year, the Foundation is partnering with the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Network. It is imperative that we learn to tackle the injustice and break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage for our Black and brown community members.

Carol Hall, the Foundation’s executive director, said, “Now is the time to bring the spotlight onto solutions as we learn about the unrelenting issue of economic and racial disparity. Our panel of experts, including Charter Oak’s own alum, Seila Mosquera-Bruno, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing, have the experience and the knowledge to lead this discussion.”

Keynote presenter Dr. Fred McKinney will begin by answering the question: What is economic disparity and how did it begin? Dr. McKinney began his career as an academic economist, an entrepreneur, and a not-for-profit leader in the minority business space and is now the Carlton Highsmith Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. McKinney has won numerous awards and recognitions over his career for his work and dedication to minority business development.

Liberty Bank, First Vice President and Community Development/CRA Officer as well as COSC Foundation Shea Lecture Chair, Glenn Davis, provided the insight and forethought as we brought this distinguished panel together to uncover solutions to the looming problems that demand justice and fairness. “We cannot begin to genuinely understand the very issues that have fueled the Black Lives Matters movement without an honest discussion of systematic racism and the interplay between economics and racial disparities.”

The Shea Lecture panelists will focus on four pillars of disparity in the areas of housing, economic development, higher education, and building a financial foundation. The panel includes: Commissioner of Housing Seila Mosquera-Bruno; Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Glendowlyn Thames; President Emeritus Capital Community College,Wilfredo Nieves; and Christopher Clarke, chairman of the West Hartford Chamber Minority Business Network. Clark is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, and serves as chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of Bank of America’s Black Professionals Group.

Moderating the discussion will be Charter Oak State College Foundation Board member Tracy Allen, who is the owner and impact strategist of TVA Consulting, serves on SCORE as GH co-chair and education coordinator, and inclusion and diversity Coordinator.

The Shea Lecture Endowment Fund was created by Charter Oak State College’s first president, Dr. Bernard D. Shea, to ensure free public lectures would further the College’s mission to engage students and the community in lifelong learning.

The Charter Oak State College Foundation, Inc. was founded Sept. 15, 1977. The Charter Oak State College Foundation is dedicated to supporting flexible and comprehensive degree completion opportunities for adults, and technology innovations through the work of Charter Oak State College. The Foundation Board of Directors provides volunteer leadership for development and fundraising programs and stewardship of the Foundation’s assets in order to assist deserving and underemployed adult students with college costs; award scholarships; and encourage technological initiatives that enable the College to be a leader in higher education. The Foundation is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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