Home / Events

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Equitable Economic Development Dialogue with Mayor Ken Welch

January 11, 2022

In January 2022, a group of partner organizations launched an Equity Dialogue Series among practitioners in the field of economic equity. The first installment of the series, on January 11th, is an Economic Equity Dialogue with Newly-Elected Mayor Ken Welch.

The Equity Institute of St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg / Pinellas Higher Education for Race Equity (SPHERE) Consortium, and Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg will continue the series throughout 2022.

Dialogue 1: Economic Equity Dialogue with Mayor Ken Welch, Jan 11th 2022 at 12 noon (VIRTUAL; Register to Attend).

This event will host Mayor Welch and leading practitioners in the field of economic equity – including housing, commercial, business, workforce, and economic development – for a 1.5-hour dialogue on “Equitable Development” as one of the mayor’s top policy priorities.

Mayor Welch will introduce priorities for his administration, and – along with panelists and attendees – lend insights to defining the emerging field of equitable economic development.  The panel, comprised of local equity practitioners, will each ask one question of the Mayor, collectively covering diverse topics within the economic equity arena. 

The event will be end-capped with open mic questions of the Mayor by attendees.


  • To orient this network of equity practitioners to the new era of policy being shaped by this brand new mayor
  • To raise awareness about the over three dozen economic equity initiatives now underway in St. Petersburg
  • To move us further in a field of practice that is only beginning to be recognized as of vital importance to the future of our city


  • Carl Lavender, Jr., Chief Equity Officer, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
  • Gypsy C. Gallardo, CEO, The Equity Institute of St. Petersburg (by The 2020 Plan, Inc.)
  • Esther Matthews, President, St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP
  • Caryn Nesmith, Director, Community Relations, University of South Florida – St. Petersburg


(See panelists’ bios)

  • Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Economic Development Director, Pinellas County Economic Development
  • St. Petersburg Councilmember Deborah Figgs-Sanders, District 5
  • Jason Mathis, CEO, The Downtown Partnership
  • Dr. Tashika Griffith, Provost, St. Petersburg College Downtown & Midtown
  • Jillian Bandes, Vice President, Bandes Construction & President, YIMBY St. Pete
  • Karl Nurse, former St. Pete City Councilman, District 6


This event is co-sponsored by The 2020 Plan/One Community, St. Petersburg Branch NAACP, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber and Grow Smarter, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg / Pinellas Higher Education for Race Equity (SPHERE) Consortium, Pinellas County Urban League, Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, Pinellas Opportunity Council, People Empowering & Restoring Communities, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, the St. Petersburg Innovation Center, St. Petersburg College, and Pinellas County Economic Development.


Over 150 individuals registered to take part. Organizations represented at this policy dialogue include the following:

Business & Economic Development

  • Deuces Live
  • Downtown Partnership
  • East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
  • Equity Institute of St.  Petersburg
  • Florida Housing Coalition
  • Innovation District
  • Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco
  • Hispanic Chamber of Pinellas County
  • Pinellas County Urban League
  • Prospera Credit Union
  • St. Peterburg Area Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Petersburg Business League
  • St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation
  • St. Petersburg Greenhouse
  • St. Jude Great Commission Community Development Corporation
  • Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation
  • Tampa Bay Black Business Initiative Fund

Civil Rights/Civic Engagement

  • FAST
  • League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area
  • LULAC Pinellas
  • NAACP – St Petersburg Branch #5130
  • National Council of Negro Women
  • Pinellas National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Suncoast Sierra Club
  • Tampa Organization of Black Affairs (TOBA)

Community Partners

  • Association for the Study of African-American Life & History
  • Bartlett Park Neighborhood Association
  • Gulf Coast JFCS
  • National Senior Games Association
  • Suncoast Health Council
  • Wanda’s Wish

Construction, Development, Property Management

  • Bandes Construction
  • Engineered Design Services
  • Horus Construction Services, Inc.
  • HW Properties, Ltd.
  • Rolyat Construction
  • Sugar Hill Community Partners
  • Turnkey Real Estate Brokerage
  • VISION Investors

Corporate Partners

  • Anthem
  • Bank OZK
  • Duke Energy
  • Florida Blue
  • Raymond James

Faith Community

  • Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
  • Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church
  • Unity Temple of Truth Church

Funder Partners

  • Foundation for a Healthy St Petersburg
  • Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
  • Learning with Susan and WADA (Warehouse Arts District Association)


  • City of St. Petersburg City Council
  • City of St. Petersburg
  • Florida Senate
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, United States Treasury Department
  • Pinellas County Human Rights


  • LiUNA
  • SEIU

Other Businesses

  • Anointed Elder Concierge Services LLC
  • Fresh Daily Produce
  • JAPOSID Cleaning Services, Inc.
  • Mindful Movement Florida
  • Tombolo Books
  • Uncommon City

Pre-K and K-12 Education

  • Imagination Station Preschool
  • Pathways Early Learning Academy, Inc.
  • Pinellas County School Board
  • Pinellas County Schools
  • Phyllis Wheatley Rise to Read Campaign Board member
  • Thrive by Five

Professional Service Firms

  • Advantage Insurance Solutions
  • Atilol Consulting Solutions
  • Blake Collins Group
  • Felton Howard Law
  • Hurst Consulting Group, Inc.
  • InSource Consulting
  • J3 Creations
  • James Insurance Solutions
  • Mahogany Consulting Group
  • The Connection Partners
  • The Garvey Institute
  • The Law Offices of KV Rubin / SPBL
  • Widescope Consulting and Contracting Services

Workforce Development

  • Boley Centers
  • Eckerd College
  • People Empowering & Restoring Communities
  • Pinellas Opportunity Council
  • St. Petersburg College
  • University of South Florida


January 11, 2022


January 11, 2022
© - © Copyright - St. Petersburg Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, All Rights Reserved. Designed by Creative Courtois