Shape of the Region Conference

Opportunity & Economic Mobility

Shape of the Region Conference
The Community Foundation hosts an annual Shape of the Region Conference each spring. Since its inception in 2018, the event has evolved into a platform that helps organize our collective efforts to co-create a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable region. Featuring some of Northern Virginia’s liveliest, most incisive thought leaders, the event also showcases national speakers and broader perspectives on our common challenges and themes.

See information about each of our conferences to date below.

2022 Shape of the Region

Finding our Way Back to Mental Health: Designing a more accessible, equitable system in Northern Virginia



On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the Community Foundation presented its report Finding our Way Back to Mental Health at the annual Shape of the Region Conference. This conference highlighted the complex barriers to basic mental health service- therapy, helpful medications, early interventions, as well as others. Over 300 people attended, about half in person, and half online, from a near complete cross section of civil society- government workers, nonprofit and foundation employees, social changemakers, private sector businesses, and representatives from state, local, and national government offices. The conference featured multiple panels of national and local experts for candid discussions of the challenges of accessing basic mental health services in Northern Virginia, and what innovative ideas and opportunities may exist to address this critical issue that impacts us all.

The discussion of the unique challenges for access to mental health presents a massive opportunity, and a stark warning: whilst 750,000 adults in Northern Virginia have mental health needs, 370,000 who want therapy or counselling are unable to get it.

In the words of Regina James M.D, our keynote speaker, “Getting to mental health is like finding a monument in an old city on winding, diverging roads- the destination may be obvious, but getting there is not.”
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2021 Shape of the Region

Co-Creating a New Northern Virginia An Emerging Vision of a More Inclusive, Equitable and Sustainable Region

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2020 Shape of the Region

The Economic Case for Inclusivity

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2019 Shape of the Region

The Business Case for Economic Mobility

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2018 Shape of the Region

Opportunity and Inequality

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