Panelist Bios

John V. Moeser

John V. Moeser is Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he taught for over thirty-four years. Currently, he is Senior Fellow at the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Richmond. His scholarship has focused on post-World War II politics in Richmond, city-suburban relationships, and the racial and geographic dimensions of poverty in Central Virginia.Throughout his career, Moeser has been active in the life of the region and the Commonwealth of Virginia through his work with non-profit organizations and special government commissions.

Youngmi Kim

Youngmi Kim is an Assistant Professor in Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work. She studies the impact of poverty, material hardship, and assets on family well-being and children’s outcomes. She has worked on asset-building social policies and programs at both national and international levels, promoting parents’ ability to plan financially and build assets for their children’s future. She is participating in Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK), a large-scale social experiment researching universal Child Development Accounts, a project to help parents save for their child’s education. She is also a Principal Investigator in the study of the Hope Plus Savings Accounts program, an Individual Development Accounts demonstration project for working poor families in Korea.

Michael Paul Williams

Michael Paul Williams is a metro columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His columns appear on Tuesday and Friday, and his weekly video "Mike's Take" is online Wednesday. He came to the newspaper in 1982, working as a reporter in the Williamsburg bureau and covering Chesterfield County and Richmond City Hall. A graduate of Virginia Union University and Northwestern University, he won Virginia Press Association awards for column writing in 1992, 1994 and 2007. During 1999-2000, he was one of a dozen U.S. journalists awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Garet Prior

Garet’s vision and passion for transforming traditional community development to include greater stakeholder participation was influenced by his early years in Cleveland, Ohio surrounded by Greek, Russian, Jewish and other immigrant neighborhoods. With his BS in Education from Bowling Green University, Garet and his wife moved to Richmond where he taught history at Lee-Davis High School for four (4) years. Interested in larger scale community work, in May 2012 he completed a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at VCU. While at VCU he found his passion in the planning field was for small town and neighborhood commercial revitalization. Through completion of academic studies with the City of Hopewell, Richmond Regional PDC, City of Richmond, and work experience in Chesterfield County and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, he has gained an understanding of the region and wants to make a career out of building the highest quality of life for residents through neighborhood centered development and planning.


Ana Edwards is Manager of the Byrd House Market and Grace Arents Library & Education Center programs for William Byrd Community House and a member of the planning committee for this year's Hans S. Falck Lecture Series on Social Responsibility. She is an artist, social justice activist, amateur historian and lecturer, and host of a weekly radio talk show.

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