Watch it live here on July 2nd at 5 PM (NY time):
Everyone is recognizing the current moment as a unique opportunity for African-Americans to uncover the structural discrimination that has been embedded in US society. The disproportion of Blacks affected by the pandemic and the killing by police of George Floyd were significant events that produced an uprising in many large cities all over the world.
What is it about US culture that has made it so difficult to transform — or even address — its underlying racism, discrimination and hatred against black, brown and indigenous people.
So much has to be done:
at the economic level, where discrimination blocks access to capital in an all-capitalist society;
with religious institutions, which accept and promote public discrimination;
with a justice system that blindly acquits crimes by the police and disproportionately incarcerated membrs of the Black and Brown communities for non-violent crimes;
within police departments that have targeted, harassed, and killed people from communities of colors;
within cities and towns, that have lowered thresholds for public health and pollution and/or manipulated reports concerning water, air pollution, and lead poisoning in poorer neighborhoods;
and with our public education systems, which have implemented reforms that have created the largest school segregation in the past 50 years.
African-Americans continue to face higher unemployment rates, fewer job opportunities, lower pay, poorer benefits, and greater job instability. They account for nearly 25% of all military enlistments, while making up just 13% of the population.
We cannot not be naive and ingenious about this moment. We all have a responsibility to be vigilant and keep cultural and historical perspective on the present situation. To be clear, we are not asking the African-American community to do anything; they are not responsible for this mess and they did not create the racism and discrimination within our society.
This panel has two main objectives:
To define what will it take to transform the situation of discrimination and racism. What do Whites have to do to change, so that everyone can contribute to the construction of a future society where everyone’s rights are recognized.
To cover and share examples from the present moment where transformational change is taking place, moving beyond historical repetition.
Chivona Renee Newsome. Bronx-born and raised, Chivona is the former financial advisor and co-founder of Black Lives Matter/Greater NY. She has dedicated her entire adult life to social justice and economic liberation. She is currently running for a seat in Congress.
Glen Ford. Co-creator and Executive Editor of the Black Agenda Report website, which offer a news, commentary, and analysis from the Black Left. Together with Nellie Bailey, he produces and hosts Black Agenda Radio, a podcast and nationally-syndicated radio show available on Pacifica Network’s Audioport.org.
Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute; the chief editor of LeftWord Books; and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Vijay has written more than twenty books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.