This is a preview of ComNet15 Breakout Session Let’s Talk About Race: Communicating Effectively for Social Change After Baltimore and Ferguson, sponsored by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Perception Institute
For the past century, our understanding about race has been grounded in our troubled racial history and its legacy of enduring inequities. While these inequities are thrown into sharp, public relief by incidents such as the violence in Ferguson and Baltimore and murders in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, it is the dehumanizing, everyday narrative of race that causes them to persist. The very experience of race is deeply connected to our emotions and innate fears, and causes ambivalence about what strategies and policies we should support that will lead to racial justice. For many, merely talking about or even noticing race makes people anxious.
Kimberly A.C. Wilson
Director of Communications, Meyer Memorial Trust
Every month, we’ll be featuring a Network member in our newsletter so you can get to know your peers better. Interested in suggesting someone, or volunteering yourself? Email us.
Network member since: 2014
Question that keeps me up at night: Can we say this in a way that resonates, is straightforward, and doesn’t knock off my journalism hat?
Favorite app: Duolingo. I’m Locquioxote, studying Italian, and I am after all the Lingots!
Best thing I’ve read, watched, or listened to this month: A Path Appears, the three-part documentary on PBS. I just watched Episode 2: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, which recounts stories of children and women breaking out of cycles of poverty and abuse. Inspiring to see how accessible education and comprehensive intervention can transform lives.
Fun fact: I’ve petted manatees, dodged burning roadblocks in Haiti, chatted with two U.S. Presidents, been mistaken for a CIA operative, and remodeled an old family dollhouse.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter at @kacw.
If asked, most executives will say that clear, compelling communication is essential to the success of their enterprise. The reality is that this is an area where so many organizations fall short. It’s not because they don’t try and not because they don’t have the right words or the right approach; rather, they haven’t figured out how to make it happen.