past event
Communications

The Aspen Institute Community Dialogue on Healing the Racial Divide

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE EVENT HERE:

Read the St. Louis Dispatch coverage of the event here

In the aftermath of the events in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere, race relations are at the forefront of the minds of many Americans. Specifically in St. Louis, the relationship between local communities and law enforcement officers assigned to protect them is worsening, the quality of information shared is both positively and negatively affected by the new media environment, and the city remains one of the most racially segregated metropolitan areas of the United States.

To address these increasingly significant issues, the Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program is convening the “Aspen Institute Community Dialogue on Healing the Racial Divide,” March 24, 2015, at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

9 am: Opening Remarks by Walter Isaacson, President And CEO, The Aspen Institute

9:30 am – 10:30am Panel 1 – Black Youth and the Police

Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and in other parts of the US have put race relations at the forefront of the community, and themselves, from possible threats. Have tensions worsened between community residents and law enforcement in recent months? How do we resolve these racial fears?minds of Americans. Many citizens who listen to witness accounts or watch cell phone videos of these incidents feel that law enforcement officers responded with brutality and used unnecessary force.  Meanwhile, some suggest that there is a disconnect between public perceptions and the official facts of a case.  Minority citizens in these communities fear being wrongfully targeted by police officers, while police officers are in fear while they protect the

Panelists:
Kevin Ahlbrand, Missouri Fraternal Order of Police
Daniel Isom, Former Chief, Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis and E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community, University of Missouri St. Louis
Clifton Kinnie, Student Activist
Michel Martin, Host, NPR (moderator)
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.    Panel 2: Media and Reporting of Ferguson

There are more sources of news and information available to the US public than ever before.  In addition to local and national reporting, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, also greatly influence the information shared with the public after incidents like the death of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.  Panelists will discuss how the modern media environment can positively and negatively affect the quality of information shared with the public during periods of racial conflict and unrest. Are there ways in which the media can work together with local communities to help heal the racial divide?

Panelists:
Gilbert Bailon, Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
DeRay Mckesson, Founder and Co-Editor, Ferguson Protestor Newsletter
Don Marsh, Host, St. Louis Public Radio
Suzanne Malveaux, National Correspondent, CNN (moderator)

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.         Panel 3: Education

St. Louis remains one of the most racially segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. School district boundaries divide students in racially separated schools, making it difficult for students of color to receive the first-class education of their white counterparts. According to a report released by the Department of Education, black and Latino children nationwide are the least likely to be taught by a qualified and experienced teacher, to be offered courses such as chemistry and calculus or to have access to technology.

While there is a desperate need for reform strategies and effective policies, part of the achievement gap between whites and blacks is greatly influenced by teacher accountability, family engagement and student performance. What would it take to dismantle St. Louis’ racial education ghettos?

 

Panelists:
**This panel begins with a taped video message from Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education**
Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of Schools, St. Louis Public School District
Valerie Bell, Chair, St. Louis Public Schools Foundation
Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, the Aspen Institute and Chair Emeritus, Teach For America (moderator)
Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Schools, Jennings School District

12:45 pm – 1 pm Concluding Remarks

In the aftermath of the events in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere, race relations are at the forefront of the minds of many Americans. Specifically in St. Louis, the relationship between local communities and law enforcement officers assigned to protect them is worsening, the quality of information shared is both positively and negatively affected by the new media environment, and the city remains one of the most racially segregated metropolitan areas of the United States.

Register Here

Event information
Date
Tue Mar 24, 2015
8:30am - 3:00pm
Location
Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel
St. Louis, MO, United States