June 18, 2018
Center News

As each graduate was recognized during the ceremony, a photo and accompanying quote from their application was displayed on the stage. In her application, Chimere Miles (left) wrote, “Taking on more of an advocacy role within the community will help foster change.” Chanel Bea (right) wrote, “Reality has shown us that change happens from within. Change happens when it is desired and nurtured.”


On June 6, Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) graduated the Leadership Quest Class of 2018. This nearly 70 member class consisted of leaders from several sectors across the Richmond area, including Engaging Richmond founding members and CSH researchers Chanel Bea and Chimere Miles.

The Leadership Quest program brings together area leaders from across sectors to provide them the opportunity to learn about ways to better the Richmond community. The 10 month program includes classroom trainings, retreats, a speaker series, and team-based immersion experiences aimed at enhancing leadership skills and instructing members in regional issues. As Bea described it, “[LMR] is a melting pot of all the organizations affecting the community.”

As participants, Bea and Miles offered a fresh perspective among the more traditional professionals making up the LMR Class of 2018. “We were community members and these were heavy professionals,” Miles said. “But we were able to sit at the table together. We were able to reflect the people in the communities that they were serving….I know we were valued.”

Bea echoed Miles’ comments, emphasizing the co-equal learning that took place, “We helped [other leaders] to understand what real community engagement looks like by identifying the stakeholders they needed to engage.” Bea also pointed to hers and Miles’ expertise in community engaged research, a skill vital to the success of their immersion group’s research project on senior housing.

After having gone through LMR, Bea said she has “a better understanding of how interconnected issues area around the Richmond region…Issues and concerns are not as siloed as you think, but work to improve issues is still happening in silos.”

As next steps, Bea and Miles plan to carry the lessons they learned at LMR with them as they move forward in their work. As Miles said, “We have to connect with other leaders, cross-pollinate, branch out, and work with everybody. When we put all our wisdom at the table together, we can make effective change.”

Congratulations to Chanel, Chimere, and all the graduates from the Leadership Quest Class of 2018!