New American Dream: Town Halls on Disrupting Systemic Racism

Brian Tate | April 9, 2021
A black woman with Afro stands in front of large American flag background with her fist raised in front of an American Flag and raises her left arm and puts right hand on chest

© Erin Hammond | Model: Jameelah Nuriddin

What have the first two decades of the 21st century taught us about systemic racism in the United States, and what new visions of democracy and racial justice are needed to reclaim, revitalize, and redefine the American Dream?

NEW AMERICAN DREAM: Virtual Town Halls on Disrupting Systemic Racism and Envisioning the Nation Beyond It (April 28-May 26, 2021), gathered thought leaders from across the country to discuss the impact of white supremacy on America today, and ways to make the nation more accountable to its democratic ideals. The series examined systemic racism in relation to five pillars of contemporary society: voting rights, artificial intelligence and genetic science, Black journalism, White antiracism, and cultural narratives. The focus was on strategies and solidarity, with an understanding of history and eyes toward the future.

Presented by The WNET Group, America’s flagship PBS station. Curated by Brian Tate.

Photo: Erin Hammond | Model: Jameelah Nuriddin

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DEMOCRACY THAT DOESN’T FLINCH: Inside Campaigns to Build and Diversify Political Power

Week 1: Wednesday, April 28, 5-6:30 p.m. ET

A conversation with Christine Chen, Maria Teresa Kumar, Afaf Nasher, Esq., Kimberly Peeler-Allen, and Allie Young (Diné). Moderated by Brian Tate. Opening performance by Danny Simmons, Jr.



REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: Conceiving a Future Forged With Antiracist Technology

Week 2: Wednesday, May 5, 5-6:30 p.m. ET

A conversation with Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, Nicole Martinez-Martin, PD, PhD, Mutale Nkonde, Roya Pakzad, and Dr. Kim TallBear (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate). Moderated by Karen Hao. Opening performance by Lady Jess.



NEWS THAT NEEDS TELLING: Journalism That Examines Injustice and Explores Black Power

Week 3: Wednesday, May 12, 5-6:30 p.m. ET

A conversation with Rhema Bland, Vanessa K. De Luca, Kali Holloway, Patrice Peck, and Wendi C. Thomas. Moderated by Greg Tate. Opening performance by Liza Jessie Peterson.



TURNED AGAINST THE TIDE: Heeding the Call of White Antiracism

Week 4: Wednesday, May 19, 5-6:30 p.m. ET

A conversation with Gregg August, Sara Donnelly, Merrill Garbus, Karen Pittelman, and Dan Zanes. Moderated by Ginny Suss. Opening performance by Ailish Hopper.



BRAVER THAN THE ONE BEFORE IT: In Search of the New American Dream

Week 5: Wednesday, May 26, 5-6:30 p.m. EST

With Cathy Park Hong, Patricia Engel, Robert Jones, Jr., Laila Lalami, and Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho). Moderated by Lisa Lucas. Opening performance by Sandra Lilia Velasquez.


And watch our May 25 conversation: The Space Between Stillness and Action: A Town Hall on Recovery and Activism After the Killing of George Floyd

Thanks to Our Partners

AI Now Institute
Black Futures Lab
Black Public Media
Brennan Center for Justice
Brooklyn Book Festival
The Center for Anti-Violence Education
Color of Change
Common Cause/New York
Ms. Foundation for Women
NYU Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture