2:00 PM at Asheville Friends Meeting House
227 Edgewood Road, Asheville, NC
Presented by Gene Bell
Join Asheville Housing Authority CEO, Gene Bell, to explore the challenges a progressive city like Asheville faces in keeping ethnic diversity and not becoming a retirement community and tourist destination for affluent white people.
Communities of color that carry scars of employment, housing and educational discrimination may also face hard-to-overcome circumstances such as insufficient educational background for today’s jobs, lack of affordable childcare, transportation constraints, misdemeanor convictions from recreational drug use and may other challenges. The Asheville African-American population has shrunk from 18 to 12 percent and continues to recede. How Asheville responds to issues of racial and social justice will have a major impact on the future diversity of our city. Gene has bold recommendations and will talk about some actions already underway at the Asheville Housing Authority and other organizations.
Gene Bell has been with the Asheville Housing Authority since 1994, and CEO since 2005. He also serves as chairman of the Buncombe County Planning Board, is on the Board of AB Tech Community College, is the President of the NC Housing Authority Directors Association, is a trustee for the NC Housing Authority Risk and Retention Pool (NCHARRP) and is on the Board of Directors of Muddy Sneakers. He has served as Chair of the Asheville City School Board, was on the board of the UNC Center for Public Television (UNC-TV), and on the boards of United Way, the YMI Cultural Center, the Drug Commission, the Weed and Seed Program, and the Advisory Committee for Economic Development. Prior to moving to Asheville, Gene was director of technical services for the Charlotte Housing Authority, was a partner in a family-owned remodeling and construction company, and for 20 years held various upper-management positions in manufacturing, personnel and marketing with IBM. Gene has a degree in Business Management from Xavier University.
Informal discussion and refreshments will follow the presentation. All are welcome.