Black Policy Conference

Conference Panels


From Our POV: Reckoning, Reconciliation & Reparation in the Media

The reckoning with the media industrial complex’s history of systemic white supremacy and its institutionalized racism is leading (KC Star, Nat Geo, and many others) to even more important questions including how to combat the racist stereotypes that the media created, replicated, supported and reported.

#media #activism

Panel Managers: Crystal Collier, Kamille Washington, Darold Cuba

We Run This: Black Mayoral Leadership in Unstable Times

We will be discussing the challenges and changes for Black mayors across the nation in the wake of Black voter disenfranchisement, calls for police disestablishment, and the ongoing global pandemic.

#mayor #politics #electoral #process

Panel Managers: Mari Jones, Aerial Adams

Thank Black Women: How the Student Loan Crisis Disproportionately Affects Black Women and Their Economic Freedom

This panel will take the current debate regarding student loan forgiveness one step further and examine the financial implications for Black women specifically. Black women carry more student debt than any other group in America, a consequence of both high levels of postsecondary attainment AND financially supporting family members postsecondary attainment. Now is the time to lobby for the elimination of student loan debt. If our policymakers are truly invested in closing the racial wealth gap and providing economic relief to Black families, this is a key lever at their disposal.


Panel Manager: Imani Hope

Fueling the Transformation: Investing in Black Non-Profit Leaders

Black non-profit leaders have been historically underfunded and looked over in funding from philanthropy and foundations. This panel takes a deep dive into the root causes of them being underfunded and why funding them is essential to systemic change.

#philanthropy #building #leaders #nonprofit

Panel Managers: Anil Hurkadi, Jaylen Hackett

Blackness in Machine Learning and AI: Seizing New Opportunities and Mitigating Algorithmic Harm

This panel will demystify the industry of artificial intelligence and machine learning for advocates of the Black community, and acknowledge how bias and systemic racism in large-scale AI applications influence current events like COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the US elections. This panel will look beyond algorithms to explore how policy makers, grassroots organizers, and medical professionals can control the narrative of AI to empower the Black community rather than entrench systematic oppression.


Panel Managers: Jeff Fields, Philippe Griffiths

D.R.E.A.M.S–Daring to Reimagine Education for the Advancement of our Marginalized Students

In this panel we will explore how to integrate multicultural literature and other culturally relevant means to foster identity cultivation. Reimagining and thinking about the steps required for schools to be used as a means to foster joy, healing, and critical thinking. Reflecting on the current times, how can/is education leveraging this disruption to revamp and replace antiquated systems of learning that are not of service to all students.


Panel Managers: Chanita Coulter, Jo Persad

Pay What You Owe: Building a Movement for Reparations

The long overdue discussion of reparations for African American descendants of slavery has resurfaced in mainstream political discourse. This panel will explore policy proposals for reparations and discuss how to mobilize communities to make this necessary repair a reality.


Panel Managers: Hillary Anderson, Jamal Grant


We Gon’ Be Alright, But First We Gotta Talk About It: Mental Health in the Black Community

The issue of Black mental health is an important, yet often overlooked, aspect of health and wellbeing. Black communities across North America face unique challenges that adversely influence their mental health and wellbeing. This panel will explore the ways in which stigma, systemic barriers, discrimination and socio-economic factors negatively affect the mental health of Black communities across North America. It will foster dialogue between advocates who can offer the tangible solutions needed to advance the current mental health landscape of Black people. The session will conclude with a guided mindfulness activity to provide a sense of peace and anticipation of a future where Black mental health is a recognized and adequately addressed issue.

#mental #health #mindfullness

Panel Manager: Jennifer Oduro

Black People Don’t Like Camping: Busting Stereotypes on Black Activism and Environmental Justice

Why do they say that we don’t care about climate change and why do we often agree? This session will tackle the myths and realities on black environmentalism and climate action head-on. Speakers will unpack the origins and narrative that shape existing stereotypes while also detailing the staggering inequality in environmental impact which Black communities face. In the spirit of reimagining, this session will feature community leaders – pastors, politicians, young activists and scientists – for a future-oriented dialogue of reclamation and people-centered climate activism.

#environmental #justice

Panel Managers: Salina Abraham, Na’Shantéa Miller

Run That Check: Building Black Wealth and Prosperity

This panel will discuss the many historical obstacles to generational Black wealth building, and the individual and community consequences of the racial wealth gap we face today. The panel will then draw on each panelist’s area of expertise to discuss solutions to the wealth gap, including but not limited to financial literacy, entrepreneurship, private investing, and publicly funded reparations.

#prosperity #wealth #building

Panel Managers: Morgan Brewton-Johnson, Malcolm McClain

More than Mistrust: Bringing Justice to Healthcare

Black health is impacted by historical and present mistrust of clinical care, capitalism-aligned resource allocation, and race-neutral policy decisions that concentrate poor outcomes in low-income Black communities. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated the effects of systemic racism on Black health. Future solutions will require multidisciplinary collaborations and race consciousness in future policy design. This panel will bring insight on how the new administration can center Black wellbeing, through a health justice lens, to reduce disparities for the Black community domestically and abroad.

#healthcare #wellness

Panel Managers: Tomi Ojo, Okechi Boms

Public Safety for Whom? Unbarring The Truth Behind Police and Prison Abolition

Black and Brown people have been consistently over-policed and overrepresented in criminal justice systems across the globe. There is no denying the deeply rooted connection this phenomena has to systemic racism and discrimination. Thus, this panel will explore the influence and consequences of race and racism in police and prison systems with a specific focus on the North American context. To respond to outrage against unjust treatment of Black and Brown bodies and to imagine a way forward; one that is free of discrimination, this panel will de-stigmatize and demystify the misconceptions behind the police and prison reform and abolition movements.


Panel Managers: Sapphira Thompson-Bled, Brooke Wages