This excerpt is from the December 2019 issue of The Shopper.
One year ago, a small group of twelve Chesapeake citizens from across the city gathered to consider one question. In a world of diverse opinions, at a time when public discussions are often bitterly divisive, what does it take to bring a community together?
Dr. Becky Adams, a career educator and Chesapeake’s 2016 First Citizen, was at that meeting. “We wanted to create a space where people could experience community together—despite their political differences,” she recalls. “We wanted to explore ways in which we could expand the cultural offerings in our city.”
This dedicated group decided to form a non-profit organization—The Chesapeake Forum—which would bring high-quality speakers to Chesapeake to speak on a wide range of topics. Those speakers would include scientists, artists, historians, judges, financiers, humorists, philosophers, journalists, and leaders from all fields. At the same time, when selecting speakers, the Forum would neither engage in promoting politicians, positions, candidates, or parties.
This last point is crucial for Becky, who currently serves as the Forum’s president. “We want the Chesapeake Forum to be completely non-partisan,” she insists. “We are offering the citizens of Chesapeake opportunities to hear people from all walks of life speak.”