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Summary

The Aspen Institute Symposium on the State of Race in America explores new attitudes, opportunities, and challenges for and about people of color in 21st century America.  The 2013 panels included topics on:

  • The Impact of Faith-based Communities on Race Relations
  • Youth
  • Media and Popular Culture

The annual event is presented by the Communications and Society Program in association with Comcast Corporation.

Highlights from the 2013 Symposium on The State of Race.

SPEAKERS
Charles M. Firestone
Executive Director, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program
David L. Cohen
Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation Political Contributor, CNN
Paul Taylor
Executive Vice-President and Director of Social and Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center
Taylor Branch
Historian and Author, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
PANELISTS
Abed Awad
Attorney, Specialist in Islamic Law
Ralph Reed
Founder and Chairman, Faith and Freedom Coalition
Jasjit Singh
Executive Director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Juan Williams
Political Analyst, Fox News (MODERATOR)
Christina Downs
Editor-in-Chief, The Hilltop, Howard University
Kristal High
Editor-in-Chief, Politic365
Victor Rios
Author of Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
Lisa Wong
Mayor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Ray Suarez
Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour (MODERATOR)
Anna Deavere Smith
Actress and Playwright
Thomas Chatterton Williams
Author, Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop
Brian Yang
Actor, “Hawaii Five-0”
José Díaz-Balart
News Anchor, Telemundo (MODERATOR)
AGENDA
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Light Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Welcome and Introduction by Charles M. Firestone, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program
9:10 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Remarks by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Presentation on the Demographics of Race

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Panel 1: The Impact of Faith-based Communities on Race Relations
 

Churches have played an insurmountable role in race issues since the 1960’s. Religious leaders are now taking platforms on issues like immigration and inequality in the criminal justice system, among others. How citizens view their faith and are practicing it continues to serve as a catalyst for the major changes that are happening in society. What type of involvement should churches have in advancing the cause for improved race relations?

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 p.m. Panel 2: Youth
 

Present-day race relations in the United States have had a large impact on the youth and next generation of Americans. How has the national dialogue on race shaped the perspective of America’s youth? Are young men and women of the United States prepared for a society where minorities (people of color) are the majority?

11:45 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Panel 3: Media and Popular Culture
 

Racial and cultural attitudes are often formed more from entertainment media than the news. Hip-Hop music, movies, YouTube videos and television sitcoms and dramas bring current attitudes to the public consciousness nearly instantaneously. Sports and entertainment icons become role models for all youth whether intentional or not.

12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Concluding Presentation and Remarks by Taylor Branch, Historian and Author, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement

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