Our Chatham holds Sept. 11 community conversation

Our Chatham was recently in the news thanks to a community conservation the student-staffed Reese News Lab news venture held on poverty’s effect on education in Chatham County Sept. 11.

Photo courtesy of Our Chatham/ Graphic artist Wendi Pillars

Both the Chatham News + Record, which co-hosted the event, as well as the Chapel Hill radio station 97.9 The Hill, profiled the event in the days leading up to the community conversation at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, North Carolina.

The community conversation was the second for the innovative news venture, which uses the Hearken audience engagement model to cover Chatham County, North Carolina. Besides utilizing a website and newsletter, Our Chatham also hosts community conversations as a way to engage its readers.

A previous May 15 community conversation discussed issues of economic development, housing and disparity across the county.

The Sept. 11 conversation featured the following panelists: Larry Savage, principal of Siler City Elementary School; Chris Poston, executive director of elementary and middle grades for Chatham County Schools; Jazmin Mendoza Sosa, support specialist at Virginia Cross Elementary School for Chatham Communities in Schools; Tych Cowdin, program director for Chatham Communities in Schools’s school-based programs; and Jaime Detzi, executive director of the Chatham Education Foundation.

Read the full Chatham News + Record story, a Q-and-A with Eric Ferkenhoff, a UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media lecturer who leads the Our Chatham project and Bill Horner III, publisher of the Chatham County News + Record:


Listen to the 97.9 The Hill radio interview, a discussion with Ferkenhoff, Horner and Cowdin: