The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is pleased to announce “A New National Dialogue on Race,” two days of programming designed to look at the racial issues that America faces in a brand new way. The event, sponsored by the AAA, working in conjunction with honorary co-chairs from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), will be held January 12, 2010 through January 13, 2010 in the Cannon Caucus Room, located in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC.
This two-day program will consist of four robust panels designed to look at race through the lenses of science, history and lived experience and will be supported by the display of key elements of the AAA award-winning RACE: Are We So Different? national touring exhibit. The programming consists of symposia that examine how domestic policy initiatives, media coverage, and the advocacy community can begin to shift current perceptions and misinformation about the concept of race.
Confirmed speakers for the event include:
Dr. Leigh Mullins
Sayyid Syeed, Islamic Society of North America
Johnetta Cole, Smithsonian Museum of African Art
Michael Keegan, People for the American Way
Vanessa Cardenas, Center for American Progress
Marc Mauer, Sentencing Project
Mark Trahant, Kaiser Health Fellow
Dr. Ronald Walters, University of Maryland
Wilhelmina Leigh, Joint Center
Lesley Russell, Center for American Progress
George Curry, National Newspapers Publishers Association
Mark Jurkowitz, Pew Center Project for Excellent in Journalism
Carmen Van Kercklove, Publisher, Racialicious Blog
Jehmu Greene, Women's Media Center
Maria Vesperi, New College of Florida
Marc Lamont Hill
Faria Chideya, author and commentator
Brenda Girton-Michell, National Council of Black Churches
Marc Lamont Hill
At a time in our nation’s history where our citizens continue to struggle with, and be confronted by, wildly popular misconceptions about race, this landmark event will be an important step in continuing a national conversation that examines the core issues of what race is and how it came to be such a powerful and sometimes polarizing and harmful reality in America. Through multimedia, interactive exhibits and community programming, RACE creates unique opportunities to teach and inform the American public about the nature, challenges, and most importantly, the value of diversity.
For more information about programming over the two-day period, please contact Damon Dozier, AAA Director of Public Affairs at (703) 528 - 1902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is new about the “New Dialogue on Race?” For years, Americans have discussed the topic of race in our country. Today, there are some who would say that, with the election of an African-American President in 2009, race is no longer an issue. The RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit and this program will tell us differently. Despite the legislative, policy and personal successes of individuals (such as President Barack Obama), structural and personal barriers, often invisible and hard to prove, are still a part of the everyday lives of too many individuals in our country.
What is new about “The New Dialogue on Race” program is the comprehensive framework through which we will be looking at the intractable “race problem.” Through the lenses of science, history and everyday experience, we will finally see why ideas about race and the problem of eliminating racism are so intractable. The good news is that scientists tell us that race is cultural and social – not biological – in origin; a set of ideas about human difference, and not human diversity itself. Because race is created by us, we can uncreate it by tackling beliefs about what race is, and what is isn’t, in a more comprehensive way. This program will do just that. Based on the content of the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit currently traveling the country, we do believe that we can start a new dialogue on race, that will start a national conversation in every classroom, boardroom, workplace and home in
This symposium brings together the diverse expertise of policymakers, scholars, media experts and leaders from the non-profit and corporate sectors to: (1) identify trends and determinants of current racial disparities; (2) develop consensus on policy needs; and (3) chart a racial justice agenda for 2010 and beyond. The symposium includes a keynote address by RACE Project Co-chair Dr. Yolanda T. Moses and panel discussions during which conference participants will consider the following four themes.
I. Defining a New Dialogue across Diversity. Panelists will discuss how leaders can foster sustained and productive engagement with entrenched and new issues of race and racism. Where must the dialogues take place and how should they intersect with conversations about other aspects of our national cultural diversity?
II. Racial Disparities: Policy Implications and Recommendations. Panelists will summarize the latest data on racial disparities and offer policy recommendations for redressing them in an era of rapid social, cultural and demographic change.
III. Media Roundtable: Covering Race in 2010. Panelists will discuss how media outlets have responded to the challenges and opportunities of our nation’s new and emerging racial and ethnic diversity?
IV. Future Leadership Forum. Panelists will discuss the frontiers of race and racial justice and the future of race-based advocacy in the
Tuesday, January 12
12:00-1:00 PM Opening Luncheon
Featured speaker will provide an overview of the RACE Project; its development, goals and relevance for addressing conference themes and topics.
Welcome and Introduction: Virginia Dominguez (U
Speaker: Yolanda Moses, RACE Project Co-chair (U California-Riverside)
1:00-2:30 PM Exhibit Viewing
RACE Advisors and other key developmental personnel will be on hand to provide guided tours.
3:00-4:30 PM The State of
Moderator: Leah Mullins, (CUNY)
Panelists: Hilary Shelton (NAACP), Rinku Sen, (Applied Research Center)*, Syyid Sayeed (Islamic Society of North America), Dr. John Jackson (
5:00-7:30 PM Congressional Reception
Wednesday, January 13
9:30-11:00 AM Racial Disparities: Are
Moderator: Congressional Black Caucus/Tri-Caucus representative
Panelists: Marc Mauer (The Sentencing Project); Mark Trahant, (Kaiser Health Fellow), Tamra Draut (DEMOS)*, Brian Smedley (
Discussant: Ronald Walters (U
11:30-1:00 PM Media Roundtable: Covering Race in 2010. Panelists will discuss how media outlets have represented and responded to the challenges and opportunities of our nation’s new and emerging racial and ethnic diversity?
Moderator: George Curry (
Panelists: Jehmu Greene (Women’s Media Center); Mark Jurkowitz (Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism); Maria Vesperi (New College of Florida); Carmen Van Kerckhove (Founder and Publisher, Racialicious blog)
Discussant: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill,
1:30-3:00 PM Future Leadership Forum. Panelists will discuss the frontiers of race and social justice and the future of race-based advocacy in the
Moderator: Jeff Johnson, Host of BET’s The Truth with Jeff Johnson*
Panelists: Farai Chideya (journalist, author of Color of our Future), Brenda Girton-Mitchell (National Council of Churches), Eric Rodriguez (National Council of La Raza)*, Shelby Knox (Youth Activist)*,Billy Wimsatt (Green for All)
3:15 PM Closing Remarks
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) sponsors the symposium, working in conjunction with honorary co-chairs from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The symposium is part of a larger public education program, RACE, launched in 2007 and developed by the AAA with funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation. RACE includes three traveling museum exhibitions, a public website, and educational materials to enhance public understanding of race and human diversity.
Anticipated outcomes of the symposium include one or more summary white papers to be published on the RACE public website, www.understandingRACE.org.