Aspen Institute to Host Third Annual Symposium on the State of Race in America

April 1, 2013

Contact: Kiahna Williams
Senior Project Manager
Communications and Society Program

Speakers include Anna Deveare Smith, Lisa Wong, and Taylor Branch

What: On April 22 the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, in association with Comcast Corporation, will host the third annual Aspen Institute Symposium on the State of Race in America. The Symposium will explore new attitudes, opportunities, and challenges for and about people of color in 21st century America. The Symposium will touch on individual, cultural, institutional and structural causes of racial problems, looking towards new and viable solutions.  

The Symposium will feature three substantive panel sessions: The Impact of Faith-based Communities on Race Relations; Youth; and Media and Popular Culture. A private Luncheon Roundtable: Race Relations and the New Administration will follow.

Speakers include:

  • Abed Awad, attorney, specialist in Islamic Law
  • Taylor Branch, author and historian
  • David Cohen, executive vice president, Comcast Corporation
  • Christina Downs, editor-in-chief, The Hilltop, Howard University
  • Kristal High, editor-in-chief, Politic365
  • Ralph Reed, founder and chairman, Faith and Freedom Coalition
  • Victor Rios, author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
  • Jasjit Singh, executive director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Anna Deveare Smith, actress and playwright; trustee, The Aspen Institute
  • Paul Taylor, executive vice president, Pew Research Center
  • Thomas Chatterton Williams, author, Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop
  • Lisa Wong, mayor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts 
  • Brian Yang, actor, “Hawaii Five-0”

Moderators will be Fox News’ Juan Williams, PBS’s Ray Suarez, and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz Balart.

When: Monday, April 22, 2013, 8:30 am to 1:00 pm EDT

Where: The Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

EDITORS’ NOTE: Space is limited to members of the press who RSVP.
To RSVP please fill out this form:

The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program serves as a non-partisan venue for global leaders and experts to exchange insights on the societal impact of advances in digital technology and network communications. It also creates a multidisciplinary space in the communications policy-making world where veteran and emerging decision-makers can explore new concepts and develop new policy networks.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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