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Conversations That Matter October 2022
October 20, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Register here: https://bit.ly/3SnsOSc
Conversations That Matter will host another event in their series this October. In this upcoming “Conversation,” hear from the McKinney Center’s advisory committee member, Ernest “Buttons” McKinney, and former Town Administrator, Bob Browning. This conversation will be moderated by McKinney Center Advisory Board Members and friends of the McKinney Center, Michelle Treece, and Brittany Butler. It will take place via Zoom on October 13, at 7pm.
Ernest L. McKinney, Jr. was born in Florence, AL on January 7th, 1953. Moved to Jonesborough with his parents after his father got a teaching position with the Washington County School system. Ernest went to Dunbar elementary school in Johnson City and graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1971. Ernest attended Middle Tennessee State University and graduated in 1976, with a BS degree. He married Brenda E. Spencer in 1977. I was employed by BellSouth telecommunications for 25 years and lived in Nashville. Ernest is the father of 3 children and has 7 grandchildren. Ernest and his wife moved to Jonesborough in April 2020 and unfortunately lost his wife, Brenda in November 2021.
Bob Browning grew up in Arlington, VA, and attended school in Nashville at the Peabody College for Teachers, which later became part of Vanderbilt. After Bob graduated, he worked for the Department of Mental Health, mostly with children. Through this line of work, Bob ended up in a program in North Carolina. He then returned to Tennessee and studied Public Administration at ETSU. After marrying his wife, Janet, the two decided to make Jonesborough their home. He got a job working on a Community Development Grant in Jonesborough. After Jimmy Neil Smith was elected mayor in 1978, the Town Administrator position was created. Bob served in this role for most of the years since then, with a few breaks. He had the pleasure of serving as the Town Administrator under the mayoral leadership of Kevin McKinney and later Tobie Bledsoe. He last returned to the role in March 2001 and remained in the position until his retirement in 2020. Bob did not retire from public service, however, and continues to maintain a part-time position as he leads as the Project Manager for the Jonesborough School, Lincoln Park, and Jackson Theater.
Supported by a grant from the East Tennessee Foundation, “Conversations that Matter” is a monthly series produced by the McKinney Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In each “Conversation” two local guests from different backgrounds (age, race, religion, culture, etc.) explore their own culture and perspective, and talk to each other about what makes them unique, discover their similarities, and explore their differences. They will look at where their lives might intersect personally and in the community. The goal of each “Conversation that Matters” is for guests and participants to hear real stories, from real neighbors.
This monthly series is inspired by the Diversity & Equity Subcommittee at the McKinney Center, and their desire to highlight the experiences of all voices in Washington County, Tennessee, with an intention to include marginalized groups. By showcasing these conversations, the Diversity & Equity subcommittee hopes to open doors to new ideas and perspectives amongst our very own neighbors. Questions such as, “What was your experience in grade-school and how did that make you feel?” or, “Have you experienced exclusion or racism?” For many of us the answers are different and unique. The McKinney Center believes it is time to talk about our experiences and share them.
There is value in uplifting these stories so that we may learn from one another. Then, after hearing from one another our moderators and guest conversationalists will give insight on how to move forward.