Dating, Communication and More Part of the N.C. A&T Town Hall Conversation


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2018) – The Chancellor’s Town Hall: Relationship Goals, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University began as expected – with excitement to see guests Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Lance Gross, Rebecca Gross, Tatyana Ali and Vaughn Rasberry.

Alumna and attorney, Kimberly Bullock Gatling facilitated the event and began the conversation with one simple, yet pointed question to the guests, “How did you know your spouse was the one?” 

Kodjoe quickly responded, “Men know when they know. When I was working with [Nicole] on ‘Soul Food,’ I told her we were going to get married. It was absolutely genuine.” 

While many of the others echoed Kodjoe’s sentiment, Rasberry, who met and courted Ali through the popular online dating site, eHarmony offered another perspective. 

He says they began their relationship through an intellectual connection. “That was so powerful we knew only good things could flow from there,” he added. 

Over the course of the conversation, panelists tackled dating, sex and intimacy and of course the big “C” in relationships – communication. That concept, along with patience and self-evaluation continued to arise as overarching themes and characteristics of healthy relationships. 

“No one is a blank slate. We all come with our own history,” said Ali. “All of the things I come with, he loves all of me. Find someone who will love you for the good and the bad.” 

Parker admonished attendees to make sure to have a spiritual toolbox, align themselves with it first then allow the rest to fall into place. 

The evening concluded when Kodjoe asked for advice from a couple in the audience who happened to be married more than 40 years – Chancellor and Mrs. Martin. 

Their words of wisdom were the perfect conclusion to a captivating conversation. 

“She has helped me communicate more. In the early years we didn’t that too well. I had to learn it all over time,” said Chancellor Martin. “We’ve learned to fight fair and leave baggage in the past.” 

“There always needs to be respect for each other,” said Mrs. Martin. “And don’t bring up that history.” 

Launched in March 2017, the Chancellor’s Town Hall series was created to bring nationally distinguished guests to Greensboro for campus dialogue on matters of current and abiding importance to the university community and the world beyond. It is part of N.C. A&T’s commitment to creating an intellectual climate that encourages the creative exchange of ideas.