Keynote Speakers RaShall Brackney, Rita Dove to Headline Chamber Quadruplicity Conference February 2019

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney and poet Rita Dove will be the keynote presenters for the Annual Chamber Quadruplicity Conference, which will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2019 at the Doubletree Hotel.

Registration is now open online at

The Annual Chamber Quadruplicity Conference focuses on four key elements used to balance lives: Career, Life, Money & Health. The full day conference offers attendees programming that includes speed networking and a variety of breakout sessions. Applications for Breakout Speakers will be accepted until December 7 through the Quadruplicity website,

In its twelfth year, Quadruplicity will welcome Police Chief RaShall Brackney as opening keynote presenter. Prior to her appointment as the Chief of Police for Charlottesville, Virginia, Dr. RaShall M. Brackney retired as a 30-year veteran with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. She is the former Chief of Police of the George Washington University. During her tenure as a law enforcement professional, she has been responsible for overseeing critical operations to include Administration, Patrol Operations and Investigations. Most notably, she was the first African American female in the nation to oversee a Special Operations Division which included SWAT, Mounted Patrol, Accident Investigation, Hostage Negotiations, River Rescue, Traffic and the “Bomb” Squad.

Dr. Brackney is a recognized expert in the areas of harm reduction, procedural and restorative justice practices, and community-police relations. Due to her work in these areas, she was recently selected by the Department of Justice to address biased-based and hate crimes reporting in the nation. Dr. Brackney currently serves as a Fellow for Carnegie-Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, where she specializes in the influences of race on politics and policy. In addition, she was selected by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police (IACP) to serve on their Civil Rights Committee.

Dr. Brackney is a committed community advocate and continues to serve an Executive Board member for the Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) and the Alliance for Police Accountability.  Additionally, she has served on the Executive and Leadership Board for Operation Better Block (OBB), Amachi Pittsburgh, A Giving Heart, Manchester Academic Charter School and The Heinz Endowments: African-American Men and Boys Initiative.

Dr. Brackney earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Ph.D. from Robert Morris University.  Additionally, she has earned numerous professional certifications to include the Command Institute for Police Executives and the Police Executive Research Forum.  Dr. Brackney is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia; the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection course in Washington, D.C.; Redstone Arsenal “Bomb School” for managers in Huntsville, Alabama, and Leadership Pittsburgh XIX.

Quadruplicity 2019 will also welcome former US and Virginia Poet Laureate Rita Dove as closing keynote presenter.  Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of one of the first black chemists in the tire industry. Dove was encouraged to read widely by her parents, and excelled in school. She was named a Presidential Scholar, one of the top one hundred high-school graduates in the country, and attended Miami University in Ohio as a National Merit Scholar. After graduating, Dove received a Fulbright to study at the University of Tübingen in West Germany, and later earned an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she met her husband, the German writer Fred Viebahn. Dove made her formal literary debut in 1980 with the poetry collection The Yellow House on the Corner, which received praise for its sense of history combined with individual detail. The book heralded the start of long and productive career, and it also announced the distinctive style that Dove continues to develop. In works like the verse-novel Thomas and Beulah (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize, On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Sonata Mulattica (2009), Dove treats historical events with a personal touch, addressing her grandparents’ life and marriage in early 20th-century Ohio, the battles and triumphs of the Civil Rights era, and the forgotten career of black violinist and friend to Beethoven, George Polgreen Bridgetower. Poet Brenda Shaughnessy noted that “Dove is a master at transforming a public or historic element—re-envisioning a spectacle and unearthing the heartfelt, wildly original private thoughts such historic moments always contain.”

Dove’s work is known for its lyricism and beauty as well as its sense of history and political scope. She frequently writes about other art forms, including music in Sonata Mulattica and dance in the collection American Smooth (2004). Writing in the New York Times, Emily Nussbaum noted how dance and poetry connect for Dove: “For Dove, dance is an implicit parallel to poetry. Each is an expression of grace performed within limits; each an art weighted by history but malleable enough to form something utterly new.” Sonata Mulattica follows the tempestuous life of 18th century violinist Bridgetower, who took Europe by storm, had a famous sonata composed for him, and died in obscurity. The Los Angeles Times described Dove’s book as an “ambitious effort, using multiple distinctive voices and perspectives to chronicle the complex tale ‘of light and shadow, / what we hear and the silence that follows.’” Poet Mark Doty called the work “richly imagined,” with “the sweep and vivid characters of a novel, but… written with a poet’s economy, an eye for the exact detail.” Her Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (2016) is a finalist for the National Book Award.

In addition to poetry, Dove has published works of fiction, including the short story collection Fifth Sunday (1990) and the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992). Her play The Darker Face of the Earth (1996) was produced at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Dove is also an acclaimed lyricist, and has written lyrics for composers ranging from Tania León to John Williams. Of her forays into other genres, Dove told Black American Literature Forum: “There’s no reason to subscribe authors to particular genres. I’m a writer, and I write in the form that most suits what I want to say.” Dove’s own work, the popular Thomas and Beulah, was staged as an opera by Museum for Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2001.

Rita Dove has had a tremendous impact on American letters, not only through the scope of her poetry, but also through her work as an advocate. Dove was named US Poet Laureate in 1993. Just forty years old at the time of her appointment, she was the youngest poet ever elected to the position. She was also the first African American to hold the title (Gwendolyn Brooks had been named Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985). Dove was also the first poet laureate to see the appointment as a mandate to generate public interest in the literary arts. She traveled widely during her term, giving readings in a variety of venues from schools to hospitals. Dove noted in the Washington Post that her appointment was “significant in terms of the message it sends about the diversity of our culture and our literature.” Dove has continued to play an important role in the reception of American poetry through her work as editor of the Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry (2011). The omnibus collection of a century-worth of American verse stirred controversy and generated new dialogues about the legacy of American poetry, and its current state. Many praised the anthology for its inclusiveness and scope, however. Katha Pollitt in The Nation called it “comprehensive and broad-ranging,” whatever its omissions.

Rita Dove has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including a Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities and a Common Wealth Award. In 1996 she received a National Humanities Medal. She is currently Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The 2019 Quadruplicity Planning committee is now accepting sponsorship applications, exhibitor applications, and scholarship applications, all of which can be found online at

About Quadruplicity

Quadruplicity is an annual conference held by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Round Table. Although men are welcome, the conference centers around women’s issues, focusing on career, life, money, and health. It’s a day of education, networking, mentoring, and personal and leadership development.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Round Table is committed to providing education and encouragement to women in business through member programs and events. The Quadruplicity Women’s Conference is a continuation of workshops and seminars as well as a series of successful speakers.

Media sponsors include: Charlottesville Radio Group, as well as CBS19.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities.  Founded in 1913, today 1,200 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 men and women in Greater Charlottesville, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.


CONTACT: Jennifer Hamlin, Conference Facilitator, 434.960.1597,

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney
Poet Rita Dove
Poet Rita Dove

Our Mission

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in our Greater Charlottesville communities.