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Jake Soberal

Downtown Partnership’s City Center Series returns Jan. 20 for its sixth year, featuring national thought leaders in urbanism, innovation, equity and design. 

For the first time, the series is free to attend, will be presented virtually and will include local experts responding to each speaker. 

Sponsored by Colorado Springs Health Foundation, the 2021 series emphasizes how resiliency, equity and creative placemaking build a better city for all.

“These speakers will inform and inspire the way we talk about the changing face of Colorado Springs,” said Claire Swinford, director of urban engagement at Downtown Partnership.

“Our goal has always been to give local leaders and advocates a set of shared ideals and vocabulary to address the issues that matter most to our city. In this time of rapid growth, it’s even more important to emphasize how our whole city thrives when we build a Downtown that is accessible, equitable and welcoming to all.

The 2021 City Center Series features:

Talent Development in the City Center with Irma Olguin & Jake Soberal, co-CEOs of Bitwise Industries

Wednesday, Jan. 20

What is an employer’s role in raising young people out of poverty?

Bitwise Industries and its associated entities have built an equitable, sustainable talent pipeline for Fresno’s technology sector through training, education and a long-term commitment to local underresourced communities. 

Local responders: Dr. Tatiana Bailey, UCCS Economic Forum; Dr. Lance Bolton, Pikes Peak Community College; Traci Marques, Pikes Peak Workforce Center; Hon. Regina Walter, Educating Children of Color

For more on the Jan. 20 City Center event, see the story in the Jan. 15 edition of the Business Journal

Equity in Transportation with Tamika L. Butler

Wednesday, Feb. 17

Active multimodal transit is key to economic and public health for growing cities. How do we ensure its benefits are accessible to ALL citizens?

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, and change management. 

Local responders: Susan Davies, Trails & Open Space Coalition; Jolie NeSmith, PikeRide

How to Retain Your Community’s Soul During Rapid Development with Dan Carmody, president of Detroit Eastern Market Partnership

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Community revitalization can mean many things. On the eve of Colorado Springs’ sesquicentennial, what does our city need to thrive in the next 150 years?

Dan is a dynamic speaker who led the renaissance of Detroit’s Eastern Market as a hub for healthy food and local jobs, eventually expanding a wholesale food district to include mixed-use buildings, additional light manufacturing, and better public spaces. 

Local responders: Patience Kabwasa, Colorado Springs Food Rescue; Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding

Public Space Design for Public Health Equity with Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The upheavals of 2020 highlighted long-standing inequities in how public space serves public health. What needs to change to make our city center safe and healthy for all?

Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter’s research focuses on tactics to center equity and public health in how we address public spaces, promoting safe and healthy environments where people live, work, play and travel. 

Local responders: Stephanie Surch, Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO); Tilah Larson, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

All events are free and virtual, via Zoom webinar. Talks begin promptly at 4 p.m. Pre-registration is required via www.DowntownCS.com/CityCenter.

The City Center Series is a program of Downtown Partnership, the lead organization ensuring that Downtown serves as the economic, cultural, and civic heart of the city. The series is supported by Colorado Springs Health Foundation, with media sponsor the Colorado Springs Business Journal and evening sponsors Trails & Open Space Coalition, Colorado Springs Food Rescue, and the Council of Neighbors and Organization.