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VCU da Vinci Center to host new summit for aspiring social entrepreneurs

‘IMAGINE Social Good’ summit will bring together nonprofit leaders, community organizers and students from more than 20 colleges and universities.

The IMAGINE Social Good summit will take place March 23-25 at VCU.
The IMAGINE Social Good summit will take place March 23-25 at VCU.

The Virginia Commonwealth University da Vinci Center is launching a social good summit focused on students and their work in social justice and social entrepreneurship.

IMAGINE Social Good” takes place March 23-25 at the Academic Learning Commons, 1000 Floyd Ave. Students from more than 20 campuses worldwide who are pursuing diverse social good projects are attending. 

The weekend consists of main-stage events with keynote speakers, inspiring workshops and multiple moments to meet, listen to and learn from experts and one another. Student teams will present their work on creating change in social good, social justice or social entrepreneurship to panels of experts during breakout sessions. The projects range from products to ideas. For instance, one student will present her interactive financial-literacy game, while another will initiate a discussion on challenging the portrayal of Native Americans in young adult literature.

The impetus behind the summit was to help build a more just and livable world, said Shawn Humphrey, summit founder and changemaker in residence at the da Vinci Center.

“I needed a place bristling with hope again, so I built it,” he said. “Of course, not alone. Anything worth building takes a team.”

That team, he said, includes Amanda Hall, assistant director of service-learning in the Division of Community Engagement, her team of students and the Richmond Technology Council.

“IMAGINE is a gathering of some of the most inspiring human beings on the planet,” Humphrey said. “We are coming together to convene, converse and create diverse coalitions of change-making individuals who are committed to building a more just and livable world.”

In addition to more than 20 experts and mentors participating, keynote speakers are:

  • Goldman Environmental Prize winner mark! Lopez, executive director of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice;
  • TED speaker Angela Patton, founder of Richmond-based Camp Diva, which is committed to “preparing black girls for the world … and the world for black girls”;
  • Promoter of indigenous knowledge Sofia Arroyo, executive director at Sacred Fire Foundation, filmmaker, actress and mother;
  • Farm girl turned international aid worker Jennifer Lentfer, director of communications at Thousand Currents, a California-based international grant maker;
  • Transformational consultant Charles Corprew III, founder and president of WYRevolution Consulting, a firm dedicated to help organizations solve complex issues using a system thinking framework with an equity lens;
  • Food justice advocate Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank, a nonprofit focused on building a global community for safe, healthy and nourished eaters.

 

A collaboration of VCU’s schools of the Arts, Business and Engineering and College of Humanities and Sciences, the VCU da Vinci Center is a unique collegiate model that advances innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Attendance is free, but registration is required at https://goo.gl/forms/rJQpMBWX8u2g1Bl03.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.