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Tom Tom Speaker Newsletter, Vol. 5

Midsummer Dreams Edition


Welcome to our biweekly newsletter, where we spotlight Tom Tom alums near and far. Read about speakers honing  in on automated vehicles, the municipal broadband boom, sports-centered philanthropy, and more. As always, send us relevant tidbits at speaker@tomtomfest.com!

Speaker Spotlights


“Since that study was released, [a record number of] African American women have been elected as District Attorneys in major metropolitan cities like Orlando, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, and New York,” writes Melba Pearson—ACLU of Florida’s Deputy Director—in an essay for Essence.


How do you build a community full of second chances?


Larry Terry, the executive director of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, helps the formerly incarcerated reenter society as productive citizens. Terry talked criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth with a recent Q&A session with UVA Today.

Former NFL defensive end Chris Long received the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award last Tuesday for “his commitment to giving back through strategic, multifaceted efforts,” ESPN reports


Long, who retired from football in May, donated his entire earnings in 2017 to further equity in equation, and his organization Waterboys currently provides clean drinking water to 225,000-plus people in East Africa.

But wait—there’s more!


John Hudak of Brookings and Steven Hawkins of the Marijuana Policy Project offered a progress report on marijuana reform halfway through 2019—a year that was predicted to be a “real game-changer” for legalization on both the state and federal level.


Barbara Brown Wilson’s book, Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design, was excerpted by the urban affairs magazine Next City last week. In the clip, Wilson expounds upon green infrastructure as an anti-poverty strategy.


Municipal broadband has “exceeded all expectations” in Chattanooga, Tennessee, said Mayor Andy Berke. In fact, he credits the lightning-speed connection with boosting the city’s economy and driving down its unemployment rate.


What tech trends are transforming the business world? How should traditional businesses address digital disruption? Michael Lenox, Chief Strategy Officer for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, tackled these questions and more.


Cathy McGhee, Director of Innovation and Research at the Office of the Virginia Secretary of Transportation, celebrated a successful test run of the autonomous vehicle project “Olli” at Arlington, Virginia’s Fort Myer.


Photographer and filmmaker Lorenzo Dickerson sat down with Charlottesville Tomorrow to discuss the Maupintown Film Festival, an annual event he started “to highlight little-known African American stories that we don’t often hear.”

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One Last Thing…


Catch leading entrepreneurs and national experts John Hudak, Jenn Michelle Pedini, Hope Wiseman, Steve Hawkins, and Jane West in conversation about the opportunities and challenges that accompany marijuana legalization.

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