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University Roundtable: Networked News, Racial Divides: How Power & Privilege Shape Public Discourse in Progressive Communities  (back)
Why do progressive communities have such a hard time talking about race? In this discussion, Dr. Sue Robinson, Helen Franklin Firstbrook Professor of Journalism, will explore the obstacles to public discourse about racial inequalities and also review some recommendations for how to go about building trust in today's multi-cultural, digitized world. She’ll frame out how our local communities’ information streams are being reconstituted by digital platforms like Facebook and all of the new actors in that content production, noting why some voices get heard more than others. She will draw on the example of the K-12 education issue of racial achievement disparities to think about privilege and power in community conversations. This work draws on eight years of analysis of community dialogues, interviews with journalists, politicians, activists, and citizens, textual analysis, and deep case study of five cities -- Chapel Hill, NC, Evanston, IL, Ann Arbor, MI, Cambridge, MA, and Madison, WI. A key part of this work has been Robinson's own racial journey as a White progressive.

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Contact Info:
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