Community Zoom with trans and queer musicians’ and record label owners


This series of brief virtual events for the VCU Libraries community highlights timely subjects, celebrates achievements, practices creativity and more. Community Zooms offer opportunities for learning and conversation. They are organized and hosted by the VCU Libraries Development Office.

Sessions are held Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and last approximately a half hour to 45 minutes each. Attendees may join via Zoom.

To receive a link to join the sessions, please complete this online form. For questions or accommodations, please contact the VCU Libraries Development Office at


Please complete this online form to receive the URL.

Upcoming Sessions 

April 20, 2023

A conversation with trans and queer musicians’ and record label owners Eli Owens and Nancy Grim Kells Grimalkin Records mentors and supports trans and queer musicians, particularly BIPOC and disabled artists, through artist-centered structures of support through education, mentoring and production services.


Prior to joining a session, attendees are encouraged to check that Zoom is working properly on their computers or devices by testing it at

At the start of every session, attendee’s microphones will be muted. This allows everyone to hear the organizers and presenters clearly. Attendees will be invited to unmute their microphones and speak at different times during the session.

If you have questions or comments while others are speaking, you can type them in the chat.

As at physical events, attendees are asked to help make sessions inclusive of all participants by using respectful language and allowing others to speak, even if they disagree with viewpoints being expressed.

VCU Libraries reserves the right to remove attendees from sessions for disruptive behavior.

Be advised that VCU Libraries will record all sessions for its private archives but may make use of the recordings for future projects, including publicity.

Previous Sessions

Jan. 27, 2022
Exploring recently-processed collections

Throughout the pandemic, Processing Archivist Dillon Thomas has continued arranging and describing research collections housed in VCU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives (SCA). Thomas will share his experience and relate some of the interesting stories he gleaned while working with the Ernest Gunzberg papers, the ACLU - Southern Women’s Rights Project records and the Henry Valentine II papers.

These three manuscript collections represent very different voices, time periods and subject areas but they are all part of the rich resources documenting, in diverse ways, the history of Richmond and the central Virginia area. In this community zoom, Thomas will also provide an overview of the unique resources found in these collections while emphasizing the important role of the archivist in making these materials accessible.  

Feb. 3, 2022
Faith, Racism and Coming of Age in the 1970s: the writing of Malcolm and Me

Award-winning author and journalist Robin Farmer will discuss the writing process that led to her 2020 young adult novel, Malcolm and Me, which explores themes of faith, racism and coming of age in the 1970s that are partly autobiographical. During this presentation, she will outline steps for writers of all ages to take real-life incidents and turn them into essays, books and even movie or television scripts!

Farmer’s debut novel, Malcolm and Me, was a 2019 winner of the She Writes Press and SparkPress Toward Equality in Publishing (STEP) Contest. Originally from Philadelphia, Farmer now lives in Richmond. She has written articles for the Washington Post, Richmond Magazine, Hartford Courant and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. As a national award-winning journalist, Robin specialized in narrative nonfiction projects as part of the Special Projects/Investigative team for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her work led to a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. A freelance writer since 2009, her clients include corporations and universities. Robin holds a degree in journalism from Marquette University. She is a recipient of residencies at the Rowland Writers Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

When not writing and working on her second book, Robin volunteers with organizations empowering local writers and teen girls.

March 3, 2022
Tour the Miller Collection 

VCU Libraries recently acquired the Richmond Academy of Medicine Joseph Lyon Miller Collection, an amazing group of history of medicine resources. Come learn how Dr. Joseph L. Miller, a 1900 graduate of the University College of Medicine, built his research collection from remote Thomas, W.Va. His collection includes books from the 15th through 19th centuries that illustrate evolving printing processes and the art of illustration in published works. Miller’s collection also includes letters, documents, photographs, engravings, and prints that all tell the story of the development of medicine from Galen to Roentgen.

March 17, 2022
What's Everyone Reading? Krystle Dandridge at the Book Bar 

Just last month, Krystle Dandridge opened The Book Bar, one of the city’s only Black-owned bookstores, featuring BIPOC authors. The Book Bar encourages community participation through special events and initiatives like the reading group Book Bar Book Club. Located on East Main Street in Shockoe Slip, this welcoming, relaxing space has been shaped in part by Dandridge’s career as a licensed therapist in the human services field and her volunteer work with disadvantaged youth in South Africa. Current campaigns across the country banning books, many of them by Black authors, have added impetus to Dandridge’s vision to create opportunities for intentional reading, broadened perspectives and self-realization.

April 7, 2022
Reclaiming the Dream, with Michael Paul Williams 
"MLK’s words and work are being weaponized against us. We must reclaim the dream," observes Michael Paul Williams, longtime Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist and winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Join him for a timely, provocative discussion about race, history, and a vision for Richmond’s future, moderated by Friends of VCU Libraries board member Kenneth Foster.

Aug. 4, 2022
Supporting Youth Wellness through Community Partnerships: Art 180 + The Workshop 

Come learn about a community partnership between VCU Libraries’ The Workshop and local nonprofit Art 180 that facilitated youth advocacy through experimental animations. Oscar Keyes, Multimedia Media Teaching and Learning Librarian, will talk about how this partnership was formed and some of the work that was produced by these artists.

October 13, 2022
Richmond Triangle Players: 30 Years of Bringing LGBTQ+ Stories to the Stage
With Philip Crosby, Executive Director
Richmond Triangle Players

The Richmond Triangle Players, a non-profit professional theater company based in Scott’s Addition at the Robert B. Moss Theatre, has made a transformative, indelible mark on Richmond’s cultural landscape with the production of hundreds of plays over three decades. The theater’s programming probes LGBTQ+ experiences and supports queer artistry, for which it has received numerous accolades and awards. In celebration of its 30th anniversary season and LGBTQ+ History Month, we welcome visionary Executive Director Philip Crosby, who will discuss the theater's evolution and mission, groundbreaking performances, community engagement, and its upcoming season.

November 3, 2022
Building Community During A Pandemic

Tanya Gonzalez, Executive Director of Sacred Heart Center (SHC), will share about the work of SHC, the impact of the pandemic on the community SHC serves, along with what building community looks like during this current phase of the pandemic

Jan. 26, 2023
Oh the places you’ll go with an MPA degree

Jeffrey Woodson, M.P.A. '83/H&S, and Nia Rodgers, Public Affairs Research Librarian, explore Jeffrey's career that included Director of Richmond's Management and Budget Office to managing multiple major responsibilities as Vice President at the San Diego airport to include a $1.6 billion dollar construction program   (with some city management in between). How does a MPA degree lead to this sort of career path and what advice would he give other public administration graduates?

Image: Photo by Allie Smith from Unsplash

Feb. 16, 2023

Bonnie Newman Davis is the author of “Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960” will present a VCU Libraries Community Zoom on Thursday, February 16, 2023. Her newly published book presents biographies of key Black women journalists, the struggles they faced, and the networks they built.

Bonnie will be joined by Janet Davenport and Robin Farmer. Janet is an ordained minister, storyteller, writer, executive life coach and former journalist who lives in Hartford, Conn. Robin, one of the 24 women featured in Bonnie's book, is an author, journalist and speaker who lives in Richmond, Virginia.

March 9, 2023

Join John Freyer, Associate Professor, Cross Disciplinary Media at VCUarts as he shares about his collaborations with students and staff of Rams in Recovery. Freyer is a person in recovery and has served on the Rams in Recovery Advisory Committee since 2015. Freyer’s artistic practice intersects with the spectrum of topics related to addiction and recovery, including using the arts as a tool of engagement with marginalized populations, participating in peer-reviewed social science research, and advocating on behalf of young people in recovery. Freyer’s 2018 Tate Exchange Program at Tate Modern in London, featured his series of social practice art works including Free Ice Water, Free Hot Coffee, Free Hot Supper and premiered an original song written by Freyer and performed by a coalition of four UK-based recovery choirs.

For special accommodations, or to register offline, please contact Ryan Pander, event manager, or 804-828-0593.