For The Communications Network’s annual conference, I like proposing breakout sessions that center on questions I don’t know the answers to, questions I suspect many of us share, and for which I’ve also got a hunch the best answers lie on the other side of a group of us hashing it out together.
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.