Richmond Times-Dispatch introduces Community Advisory Board


An important part of being a robust Opinions page is engaging members of the community. To help facilitate that effort, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has created its first-ever Community Advisory Board.

Pamela Stallsmith, Opinions editor, said: "The 12-member board represents a dynamic cross section of the Richmond region. It consists of readers who will share their views with the RTD Opinions team, staff columnists and newspaper leadership about how we're covering the issues facing our community. The volunteer board will meet monthly with us and will serve a one-year term."

She said that regular meetings with the board "will let us routinely check the pulse of our region to see what we're doing well and how we can strengthen our coverage. We're looking to board members to give us their insights about how we can find solutions to the issues facing our region and state."

Inaugural advisory board members are:

  • Noelle Abrahams, senior at Virginia Commonwealth University who's majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
  • Salaam Bhatti, a lawyer at the Virginia Poverty Law Center and vice president of Anwaar Mosque in Chesterfield.
  • Duron Chavis, manager of community engagement, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
  • Angela Chiang, retired director of operations, Virginia Department of Minority Business and Supplier Diversity, and treasurer and fundraising chair, Asian & Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia.
  • Paul E. Drumwright, administrative services manager, Goochland County.
  • Deanna Fierro, math teacher, Tuckahoe Middle School, Henrico County Public Schools.
  • Frances F. Goldman, co-founder and president, The Tax Complex, and chair, Richmond Jewish Foundation.
  • Bill Harrison, president and executive director, Diversity Richmond.
  • Bryanna Johns, marketing and communications manager, ChamberRVA.
  • The Rev. Canon J. Fletcher Lowe Jr., Richmond Times-Dispatch Opinions' 2018 Correspondent of the Year.
  • Craig Shields, president, Nu Era Productions, a video production and post-production firm.
  • Samantha Willis, independent journalist.
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