The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement opens its weekly Brown Bag Series Sept. 6 with speaker Ed Trask discussing Richmond's Street Art Festival .

The CCE holds discussions most Fridays from 12:30 to 1:25 p.m. in Tyler Haynes Commons, room 305. Topics typically cover contemporary social issues.

"The issue is often provocative, and sometimes controversial," said Shelby Longland, CCE Fellow for Events and Communications. "The goal of the Brown Bag is to bring together campus and community members to study, reflect upon and address important issues."

UR Downtown is co-sponsoring the Brown Bag session, "RVA Street Art Festival: Murals, Transportation and Community." This year, University of Richmond will partner with the Valentine Richmond History Center to paint a mural depicting the history of transportation in Richmond for the Street Art Festival, which UR Downtown is spearheading, Longland said.

Alexandra Byrum, educational programming coordinator at UR Downtown, said she knew local artist Ed Trask and Jon Baliles, Richmond City Council, 1st district, and asked them to make a presentation for the Brown Bag.

"The Brown Bag discussion series has been very successful in the past," Longland said. "UR community members are happy to learn about new things from new people, and speakers are always happy to share their expertise with the UR community."

The CCE continues to push the university toward deeper community engagement by creating awareness about social issues affecting the area.

Future Brown Bag topics include Richmond's Riverfront Master Plan, implications of the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act decision and the politics of immigration in the following weeks.

Contact reporter Sheetal Babu at