Community Conversations

Community Tampa Bay created Community Conversations to be responsive the needs of the community. Driven by need, these pop-up conversation programs create space for the community to come together and discuss timely issues with the professional facilitation by Community Tampa Bay trained facilitators.

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Throughout the state of Florida, Community Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Times Newspapers in Education joined forces with past chapters of NCCJ (National Conference of Christians and Jews, later became National Conference for Community and Justice) to put on four in-person events commemorating the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954-May 17, 2024). Community Tampa Bay partnered with Mosaic Miami, OneJax, both past NCCJ chapters, and the Florida State University Civil Rights Institute for the in-person events. In addition to the four in-person events, the Tampa Bay Times Newspapers in Education and Florida Press Educational Services created an educational publication aligned with the Florida Standards for high school students.The publication was provided to high schools in the Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tallahassee areas and is available online for free download. 

Our partners at the Tampa Bay Times Newspapers in Education also created a teacher guide aligned with the Florida Standards and is available online for free download. In the beginning of April 2024, a teacher professional development webinar was hosted virtually to empower and lead teachers across the state to use the publication and other primary sources to teach Brown v. Board of Education. This was all made possible due to a grant from the Florida Humanities. 
On Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024, Community Tampa Bay and partners hosted this community conversation at the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Center for Health Equity. Featured panelists included Dr. Raymond Arsenault, John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg; Fred Hearns, Curator of Black History, Tampa Bay History Center; and Chloe Coney, President of the Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa. The panel, and other community members engaged in a community discussion on the history, continuing impact, and the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education in the Tampa Bay area. 

Huddle For Change: Criminal Justice Panel

The panel on Criminal Justice and Race Equity will include:

St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway

Ret. Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge Myriam Irizarry

Florida Policy Institute policy expert Tachana Joseph-Marc

Criminal Justice Advocate Walter Dunn III

CEO and President of Abe Brown Ministries, Robert Blount

experience excellence

What Is “Huddle For Change”?

“Huddle for Change’ is a partnership between the Super Bowl LV Host Committee, NFL Inspire Change, and Community Tampa Bay to welcome community members and local leaders to participate in an open and honest discussion about systemic racism and racial inequalities.

Huddle for Change is a community-wide dialogue between various community stakeholders. The evidence-based programming will draw from recent studies conducted by the Tampa Bay Partnership, including the Tampa Bay Racial Sentiment Survey and Regional Equity Report conducted by Down & St. Germain Research.

Community Tampa Bay will partner with local grassroots activists, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, corporations, and business leaders to discuss the data findings, their own lived experiences, and tangible action steps our community can implement to eliminate systemic injustices in the Tampa Bay community.  


What Topics Are Being Discussed In The “Huddle For Change” Event Series?

The six-part series is designed to intentionally engage individuals of all ages in cross-cultural interaction with those who don’t look like them, live like them or love like them. The initiative aims to have a positive impact on relationships across identities and reduce behaviors informed and perpetuated by stereotypes.

Huddle for Change falls under the Forever 55 legacy Program’s Systemic Justice pillar, one of six designed to give back to the Tampa Bay community and leave a lasting impact, long after the Super Bowl has been played.

The following topics will be discussed in the series: 

Creating Community Through Allyship

The Tampa Bay region of Florida is home to tens of thousands of Muslims of South Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Central Asian and North African heritage. Each of whom are of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, classes, nationalities, abilities, and more.

Despite the region’s diversity, many people of all regions have few relationships outside their own faith groups. This can lead to a lack of understanding and a less-unified community.

A unique collaboration between The Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education Program and Community Tampa Bay aims to create an inclusive community through its educational program – Pathway of Understanding.

What Is Pathways to Understanding?

A series of four virtual community dialogues were designed to give participants the opportunity to build relationships across and within faith communities to increase understanding and inclusion. 
The facilitated small group dialogues offer the opportunity for guests to engage in team building with participants of diverse faiths to share their stories, start breaking down barriers between strangers and form relationships in a safe, constructive way. 
Each dialogue will include a facilitator whose role it is to make the engagement easier for the people involved by asking questions and inviting reflection and responses that allow for deep contemplation and genuine connection. 
In this time of deep division, our hope is that Pathways to Understanding will inspire readers to explore their identities and beliefs; cultivate greater respect for people from different cultural backgrounds, and help to create a more inclusive community for all. 

Why Is Pathways to Understanding so Important?

As society becomes more intertwined on a global scale, countries’ demographics diversify, and our cross-cultural exchanges become more frequent. Our world is getting bigger, richer, and more culturally diverse. Understanding different cultures is more than having an appreciation for our differences but paving the way for a new world where we all stand together. 
With approximately 190 countries and 8 billion people on Earth, it is not hard to imagine that many cultures exist. Cultivating appositive, welcoming, and culturally diverse society allows us to embrace multiculturalism and reevaluate our old beliefs. We reflect on what we see as normal or abnormal and challenge ourselves to see the world from new perspectives. 
“Pathways to Understanding” is a unique collaboration initiated by The Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education Program and Community Tampa Bay raise awareness around Islam religion and increase understanding of Muslim culture to dispel the most common myths that cannot be further from the truth.

Islam In The World

Islam In America

There has been a Muslim presence in North America for more than four centuries. The first documented Muslim in America was Estevanico of Azamor (Mustafa Zemmouri), a North African Muslim captive who arrived with the Panfilo de Narvaez expedition in 1527.
The first American Muslims were African slaves. An estimated 10 to 40 percent of Africans – 600,000 to 1.2 million individuals – forced into slavery during the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the United States were Muslim. Although often forced to convert to Christianity, many slaves practiced their faith in secret and passed it on to their children through songs and stories. 
Currently, there are about 3.45 million Muslims in the United States. By 2050, the population is projected to grow to more than 8 million, making Islam the second-largest religion in the United States. 
American Muslims are the most racially diverse religious group in the United States. Muslims are of every race and ethnicity. It is not possible to know who is a Muslim and who isn’t just by looking at that person. 
Dispeling Myths

Myth #1: All Muslims are Arabs

A Muslim is a follower of the Islamic religion. Muslims can be any ethnicity and nationality. Worldwide, the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia has the 

Myth #2: Muslim women have no rights png file

Myth #2: Muslim women have no rights

This is definitely one of the most common misconception about Muslims. It’s important to realize the difference between cultural influences and religious 

Myth #3: Islam promotes terrorism and violence png file

Myth #3: Islam promotes terrorism and violence

Although some terrorist groups self-identified as Muslim, mainstream Muslims in the United States and around the world reject the ideology of Islamic