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Norfolk preps for Pharrell's 'Mighty Dream' business forum this fall

An idea by Grammy award-winning musician and VB native Pharrell Williams is becoming a reality. The "Mighty Dream" forum will take place in Norfolk this fall.

NORFOLK, Va. — An idea by Grammy award-winning musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams is becoming a reality.

Hampton Roads students are preparing for the Mighty Dream business forum in Norfolk. Community organizers like the CROP Foundation are helping them pave the way.

"We have students from middle school all the way to college coming out to tell us about their individual dream and how that can connect to this idea about a mighty dream for our community," said Community Engagement Coordinator Sebrina Linsday-Law. 

Organizers even set up an internship for more students to get involved before the event.

“This is an opportunity for them to have a live internship to learn more about community engagement, about leadership," said Lindsay-Law. 

The Mighty Dream forum is set to happen the first week of November and includes a block party in Norfolk's Neon District. Employees at Commune restaurant said it's more than a party for local businesses.

“All of the food trucks in the are going to be coming through. There are three days, 10 locations, and 15 events that are going to be including food and beverage that we’re going to pull everyone together for," said Commune Events Director Jesse Neece. 

The Sanctuary restaurant sits in the Neon District. Employees there said the three-day event could bring in more customers for them and others who are not part of the forum.

“But it’s been in need of some revitalization lately and we need to bring in some artistic blood and energy back in the area, and I think this is a great opportunity for that," said Sanctuary Employee Shannon Semon. 

Employees said they are also thinking about safety when having a large event in the area.

“Increased police presence, security, I think that would be great. I know that they’ve been really stepping up the police patrolling in the area which had kind of led to a notable difference here in the neon district," said Semon.

13News Now reached out to the Norfolk city leaders about the forum. They sent back the following statement:

"The City of Norfolk is currently defining its role with the Mighty Dream business forum and is looking forward to a successful event. We will provide more information as soon as details are confirmed," said Norfolk Assistant Director of Department of Communications Kelly Straub. 

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