Stay Tuned In to Community Conversations with the For’Em On The Hill December 7-11

The annual community forum on 97.9 The Hill and is taking place this week from Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11. Sponsored by the Orange County Arts Commission, the Orange County Visitor’s Bureau, and UNC Health, this year’s programming promises to continue the tradition of timely and informative conversations centered on the issues that impact our community.

The “For ‘Em (Forum) On The Hill” is a chance to hear constructive discourse from lawmakers, educators, health professionals and local leaders as we navigate the path forward through the end of 2020 into a new decade. Live from the studios of 97.9 The Hill from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the For ‘Em On The Hill will cover 10 topics over 10 hours – with conversations ranging from public safety and social justice to education and business.

The For ‘Em will also be streamed live on or by playing WCHL on a smart device each day from 4-6pm. Afterward, the audio will also be posted below on this page.  The list of topics, and participants, is as follows:


Tourism and Economic Development, 4-5pm

Including Orange County Commissioner Renee Price, Town of Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Orange County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Laurie Paolicelli, and Director of Sales and Marketing of the Carolina Inn Heidi Werner Dawson

Higher Education in Our Community, 5-6pm

Including UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton


The Arts in Orange County, 4-5pm

Including Orange County Arts Commission Executive Director Katie Murray, The ArtsCenter Executive Director Dan Mayer, Director of Chapel Hill Arts & Culture Susan Brown, Poet Laureate of Carrboro Fred Joiner, and Local Artist Ginger Wagg

K-12 Education, 5-6pm

Including Orange County Schools Board of Education Member Bonnie Hauser, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education Member Rani Dasi, Public Information & Community Engagement Officer for Orange County Schools Melany Stowe, Executive Director of the Public School Foundation Madeline Blobe, Program Services Manager for the Public School Foundation Nancy Zeman


Chatham County, 4-5pm

Including Executive Director at Chatham Outreach Alliance Inc Melissa Driver Beard, Former Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller,  Project Manager Chatham Economic Development Corporation Sam Rauf, and Publisher and Editor of the Chatham News and Record Bill Horner

UNC Athletics, 5-6pm

Including UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, Founder of the Center of Sport Business & Analytics Dr. Deborah Stroman, and Local Sportswriter Art Chansky


Downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro, 4-5pm

Including Town of Chapel Hill Economic Development Director Dwight Bassett, Vice President of External Affairs at The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro Katie Loovis, and Co-Founder at Carrboro United Zoë Dehmer

Health and Wellness, 5-6pm

Including President of UNC Hospitals Janet Hadar, President of Piedmont Health Brian Toomey, Chief Operating Officer for UNC Health Rowell Daniels, Medical Director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit Dr. Mary Kimmel, and Board Certified Psychiatrist and UNC Professor Dr. Christina Cruz


Housing in Our Community, 4-5pm

Including Community Home Trust Executive Director Kimberly Sanchez, Executive Director of EmPOWERment Delores Bailey, and Sammy Martin of Franklin Street Realty

Public Safety and Social Justice, 5-6pm

Including Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood, Town of Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue, Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, President of the NAACP Anna Richards, and Local Activists Kevin ‘Kaze’ Thomas and Emile Charles