In the wake of a summer of protests against police brutality, the midst of an ongoing pandemic, and the aftermath of a contentious election, the UNC Program for Public Discourse and Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies are bringing together a panel of Black academic, journalistic, religious, and political leaders to discuss and debate their different definitions of what racial justice looks like – and how it might be achieved – in the twenty-first century.
Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News covering campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Before joining the Times, Bouie was chief political correspondent for Slate magazine. He has also served as a staff writer for The Daily Beast and held fellowships at The American Prospect and The Nation. Bouie attended the University of Virginia, graduating with a degree in Political and Social Thought and Government.
Senator Valerie Foushee chairs the North Carolina Black Alliance, a network of Black legislators that advocates for communities of color on a variety of issues. After graduating from UNC with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and African and Afro-American Studies, Senator Foushee worked for the Chapel Hill Police Department and served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools School Board and the Orange County Board of Commissions. She currently represents Orange and Chatham Counties in the State Legislature.
Touré Reed, PhD is a Professor of History at Illinois State University whose research and writings focus on the impact of race and class ideologies on African American civil rights politics and US public policy from the Progressive Era through the Presidency of Barack Obama. Dr. Reed’s most recent book, Toward Freedom: The Case Against Race Reductionism (2020), challenges the idea that current racial disparities in wealth, employment, and incarceration are largely the result of liberal policymakers’ failure to acknowledge and account for the impact of racism on Black Americans.
Jacqueline C. Rivers, PhD, a lecturer at Harvard University, is Executive Director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies. She was previously a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Rivers founded and served as executive director of MathPower, a community-based nonprofit in Boston focused on reforming mathematics education in urban schools.