The primary purpose of the Summit is to discuss race in a comprehensive, collaborative, and compassionate manner designed to build the Beloved Community in West Virginia.

The 2020 Summit on Race Matters in West Virginia is a reboot of a similar event held in 2014. The majority of members of the 2020 Summit Planning Committee also planned the 2014 event, which was supported financially by The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) and other partners. For the 2020 event, the Summit Planning Committee recommended all featured speakers and panelists. While the Summit seeks to represent various viewpoints, financial constraints and the necessity for virtual delivery have limited the number of viewpoints able to be discussed. All Summit discussions are guided by questions submitted by community members upon registration. The views expressed by Summit speakers and panelists do not necessarily represent the views of TGKVF’s Board of Trustees, donors, or staff. By hosting the Summit, the Foundation is operating in its role as a community convener and facilitating conversations–as it often does–on a variety of topics.

Desired outcomes


Strengthen the skills of individual agents of change working to build communities that serve everyone.


Serve as an incubator for increased collaborative leadership in building these communities.


Raise awareness of the systemic inequalities faced by Black West Virginians.


Develop an agenda of thoughtful and visionary policies and practices that empower Black West Virginians.

Why convene a Summit on Race Matters?

While all West Virginians are integral to moving the state forward, Black West Virginians face systemic barriers that impede their full participation in this important work. These barriers need to be addressed in a meaningful, sustainable, and transformational way so that all West Virginians can participate in the West Virginia Renaissance.



The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

Partnership of African American Churches

West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy

American Friends Service Committee


Dedriell Taylor, Ed.D.

Dedriell Taylor, Ed.D. serves as the inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Dr. Taylor has a 15-year tenure in

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Joe Tackett

A product of public school music programs, Joe has spent his life making and introducing music to audiences around the country. He previously served as

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Dr. Angie Settle

Dr. Angie Settle, DNP, APRN, BC, FNP, is the CEO of West Virginia Health Right, Inc., the state’s oldest and largest free and charitable clinic

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Drew McClanahan

Drew McClanahan serves as the Director of the Office of Leadership Support for the West Virginia Department of Education. Prior to this role Drew served

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Srini Matam

President Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) Buffalo, West Virginia Srini Matam is President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) located in

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Tom Heywood

Tom Heywood is the Managing Partner of Bowles Rice, acting as the firm’s CEO.  His responsibilities include leadership, management and administration of the firm. Tom

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Christy L. Elliott

Christy L. Elliott serves as Market President for the Charleston/Parkersburg/Corridor G markets of BB&T, now Truist.  She manages the market franchise and is responsible for

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Katherine L. Dooley

Attorney-at-Law Katherine L. “Kitty” Dooley has been a practicing attorney for more than twenty-nine years.  She is the principal of The Dooley Law Firm, P.L.L.C.

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Ellen Cappellanti

Ellen Cappellanti is Jackson Kelly’s Managing Member, having dedicated her professional life to Jackson Kelly and to the West Virginia community. After more than 35

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Chris T. Beam

President and Chief Operating Officer Appalachian Power Chris Beam is president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power, serving 1 million customers in West Virginia,

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Rev. Ron English

Rev. Ronald English was licensed and ordained under into the ministry by  Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta,

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Shayla Leftridge

Shayla Leftridge is the Director of Community Outreach, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at West Virginia Health Right. She was born and raised in Oakland, CA.

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