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2014 State of Race in America Symposium

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome and Introduction by Charles M. Firestone, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program

Remarks by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation

Opening Presentation: Attitudes Towards Race
Presenter: Cornell Belcher, President and Chief Executive Officer, brilliant corners Research and Strategies and Political Contributor, CNN

The recession and housing bust hit minority communities the hardest, as Hispanic households on average lost nearly half of their home equity and Black households lost 28% between 2007 and 2010, according to the Urban Institute. Due to the loss of homes by people of color, the wealth gap is likely to increase as minorities are finding it more difficult to enter back into the housing market. What will these disparities and demographic shifts mean for race and class in the United States? How will the lack of affordable housing for minorities affect their ability to take financial risks?

Tanner Colby, Author, Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America
Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research, Pew Research Center
Richard Lui, News Anchor, MSNBC and NBC News (moderator)

Violence in Minority Communities
With the recent tragic events at the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C. and in Newtown, Connecticut, the subject of violence in communities is at the forefront of the minds of many Americans. Last year, 333 people were murdered in Philadelphia and 75% of the victims and perpetrators were African American males. In communities where people of color are without jobs, healthcare and homes, many are resorting to a life of crime. And while poverty is not an excuse for criminal behavior, it is an explanation for it. What are some long-term solutions for decreasing violence in minority communities? While there are policy efforts in place to combat international terrorism, are there equal policies in place to combat domestic terrorism? How can local, state and federal agencies collaborate to combat crime effectively in U.S. communities of color?

Courtney Gaskins, Director of Program Services, Youth for Tomorrow
Daniel Isom, Former Chief, Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis and Professor, Policing and the Community, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Cathy Lanier, Chief, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Withelma "T" Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, Survivor, Leader and Advocate
Ray Suarez, Host, "Inside Story," Al Jazeera (moderator)

Race, Media and Politics
Interviews of Mayors Michael Nutter and Mitch Landrieu provide a perspective on the role of race in local politics, looking at how Philadelphia and New Orleans have addressed racial issues and divides. Additionally, the way the media cover issues such as housing, education, and violence is especially important in the formation of racial and cultural attitudes. The panel provides two mayors' perspective on the representation of race and racially charged political issues in the media.

Michael Nutter, Mayor, Philadelphia
Mitch Landrieu, Mayor, New Orleans