A new series on race in America, examining the movement to end systemic racism and police brutality. Each week, we examine the dynamics of race in our nation; we assess how identity and inequality define the lives of people of color in relation to business, healthcare, education, housing, and financial opportunity. The series features discussions with thought leaders, change makers and essential voices on civil rights and racial equality across the ideological spectrum.
As national support for police reform and racial equality grows, the value of listening to different points of view only increases. On Monday, Aug. 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart speaks with former mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges about her view that white liberals were often the obstacle to change during her tenure, and how her experience in a traditionally progressive city shaped her ideas on how cities can best move forward. In a Washington Post Live conversation, we’ll ask why she thinks liberals too often “settled for the illusions of change,” and her thought process when faced with an 18-day protest surrounding a Minneapolis police precinct after two officers shot and killed an unarmed Black man in 2015.
Nationwide demonstrations over police brutality have renewed the debate over how we memorialize America’s past. Monuments, statues, and the names of schools, streets and military bases across the country that honor Confederate leaders and those connected with slavery and oppression have increasingly become a flash point. On Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Washington Post Live speaks with former mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu about his 2017 decision to remove Confederate monuments and what his experience can tell us about the current debate. He will be joined by New Orleans native and world-renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, whom Landrieu credits with challenging him and compelling a reckoning regarding his view of the statues.
As the national conversation about race continues, Washington Post Live brought together two American style icons to talk about inequality and exploitation in fashion, music and American society at large. Supermodel, activist and CEO Beverly Johnson discussed her trailblazing career, including being the first African American woman on the cover of Vogue. She was joined by designer, activist and philanthropist, Tina Knowles-Lawson, the mother of international superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and singer-songwriter Solange Knowles. Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah moderated the wide-ranging discussion about the power of representation, current movements for social justice and opportunities for meaningful societal change.
Diversity has been on the corporate agenda for many years, but it was not until the recent Black Lives Matter protests galvanized the nation that substantial change seems possible across American industry. Fortune 500 companies are committing to new standards and hiring practices. Senior executives are reassessing pipelines to upper management and scrutinizing company culture. Ariel Investments co-CEO John W. Rogers Jr., joined The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart to discuss his career and the work he has done to ensure civil rights in corporate boardrooms, as well as the concrete steps companies can take today to diversify their ranks and create a more equitable society.
Prisons have become hotbeds for COVID-19 with over 50,000 cases recorded since June 30. Cramped conditions and limited access to soap and masks, as well as overtaxed medical facilities, have left the incarcerated exceedingly vulnerable. Rates of infection continue to rise. This crisis has increased the urgency of prison reform advocates pushing for humane practices across the criminal justice system. Artist and activist Common joined Washington Post Live talked about his efforts to increase awareness around prison reform. “Just Mercy” executive producer and founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Scott Budnick, and campaign ambassador for Represent Justice, Jarrett Harper, also joined the program to discuss the grave impact of the pandemic on U.S. prisons. Washington Post columnist Michele Norris will moderate both conversations.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) is a civil rights activist who represents most of Seattle and is the first Indian-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. As protesters around the country call for an end to police brutality and discrimination, she is working for change in law enforcement across the country, including the banning of federal facial recognition. Jayapal joined Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa to discuss her new book, “Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.”
As protests demanding racial justice galvanized the nation, Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, devised her own initiative to address inequality. The 15 Percent Pledge is a nonprofit organization that challenges retailers to commit 15 percent of their inventory to black-owned businesses and provide mentorship for emerging brands. Major brands like Sephora and Rent the Runway have signed on. The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan will spoke with James about the campaign and plans to include grants and programming as part of the pledge.
Stacey Abrams is a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years. She is the author of the new book “Our Time Is Now,” and has founded several nonprofit organizations focused on voting rights and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart interviewed Abrams to discuss her thoughts on the protests, calls to end police brutality and racial inequality, as well as voter access issues heading into the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
As the Black Lives Matter movement heightens awareness of systemic racism, the fashion world is reckoning with its own problems of racial inequality and discrimination. Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan spoke with Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue and one of the only black woman at the helm of a major fashion magazine today, and Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder and creative director of Pyer Moss, about how to promote inclusivity and lasting, sustainable change in an industry notorious for entrenched racial bias.
Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch joined Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart for a one-on-one conversation on the legacy of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. They discussed race, recent protests against police brutality, and his role as the first-ever African American Secretary of the Smithsonian.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.) is leading the charge to implement unprecedented reforms to curb police brutality, end racial profiling, and eliminate qualified immunity with the Justice in Policing Act. At House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request, Bass and the Congressional Black Caucus are responding to the national protests calling for change after the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Bass is working to rally fellow members of Congress to step up and make historic changes to combat systemic issues and police brutality.
As a senior advisor in the Obama White House and now for the Obama Foundation, Valerie Jarrett has led on issues of racial equality and police violence. As the nation confronts social justice issues, the call for reform and healing continues. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty interviewed Jarrett to discuss these most pressing issues and what solutions can be implemented.
As thousands of people around the country protest to demand justice for George Floyd and police accountability, video-documented law enforcement abuse continues to spur fresh outrage. Peaceful demonstrations have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets, and instances of police brutality continue to mount. As public outcry reaches a fever pitch, community leaders are working to implement solutions. Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart spoke with DeRay Mckesson, a leading voice of the Black Lives Matter movement and co-founder of Campaign Zero, as well as Charles Ramsey, a former police chief in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., about policing and the impact of civil unrest on criminal justice reform.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison elevated the state’s charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd. The state’s top prosecutor also charged the three other officers involved with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Washington Post opinions columnist Jonathan Capehart interviewed Ellison to hear his plan to investigate, prosecute and bring justice for the Floyd family.
Thousands of protestors in at least 140 cities across the country have poured into the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd in police custody. While many of the protests have been peaceful, the destruction of property and looting have led to curfews in major cities and the deployment of The National Guard in more than two dozen states. On Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 a.m. ET, Washington Post Live hosted Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former mayor of Newark and former Democratic presidential candidate. Booker discussed the lack of accountability and unchecked bias in policing and his push for a holistic set of reforms to address broader systemic racism in America.
As Americans grapple with issues of race, equality, police brutality, and free speech, Washington Post Live hosted one of the nation’s top elected officials, House Majority Whip Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.). Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart asked Clyburn his views on the current civil unrest, struggle for civil rights, and how to bring the country together.