Panels + Workshops

Are The Robots Racist? Movement for Algorithmic Justice and Fairness

We want numbers, technology, and algorithms to be non-biased. But are they? This panel discusses whether using algorithms and technology in policy making helps us move away from bias or codifies our racism into numbers. We till touch on criminal justice policy, privacy policy, sort and search algorithms, and more. Learn from people who are trying to change the discourse around algorithms from predictability and towards justice.

Beyond Tokenism: Creating Meaningful Space for Black Americans in the Republican Party

After Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enfranchised Black people became Republican Party loyalists. One hundred years later Republicans played a significant role in passing the Civil Rights Act. At the same time Barry Goldwater gained prominence, which led to a major party realignment partly centered around anti-black racism that pushed Black voters to the Democratic Party. Since then Black voters have become a fixture within the Democratic Party, with very few gains in median net worth, unemployment, and poverty.

So where do Black voters go?

Democrats have been making the case for some time, so now we want to hear from the other side.

Join us for a thoughtful conversation with prominent Black Republicans on how to make space for Black people in the Republican Party. We will examine the reasons Black people don’t feel welcome in a party with Donald Trump at the helm.

Cannabis Legalization: Implications for Health, Criminal Justice and Economic Opportunity in the Black Community

Ultimately, our aim is to facilitate a robust dialogue on ideas and best practices so the audience walks away with a clear understanding of how we arrived at this moment in time and what the next steps are in ensuring responsible, equitable and fair cannabis regulations. African Americans have been disproportionally arrested, convicted and incarcerated for marijuana related offenses and are disproportionately underrepresented in the ownership of cannabis businesses. Ironically, some would argue cannabis legalization presents the best opportunity at reversing the individual economic instability of African Americans and Latinos caused by marijuana criminalization.

Land, Wealth, and Community: Housing Policy in Black America

This panel will be a discussion about innovations in housing policy that can protect Black communities against displacement, root Black communities in the power of land ownership, and find new ways to build community investment. We will talk about neighborhood revitalization, community land trusts, and other means of reducing the gap between Black Americans and other groups in housing security and ownership. Along the way, it will become clear that there are many paths to making housing work for Black America.

Playing to Win: Sports and the Fight for Racial Justice

Sports are the realm in which America interrogates what it is and what it wants to be. This panel will explore how figures in the sports world – athletes, executives, and journalists – can use their platform to address and overcome racial inequality. Informed by the statements athletes have recently made on and off the field, the panel will consider challenges and opportunities at the intersection of sports, race, and media.

Policy for Black Lives:
The Next 50 Years of Civil Rights and Social Justice

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Despite the sweeping social and legal reforms of the 20th century, Black people are still overrepresented in the halls of exclusion and underrepresented in places of power. Where did we go wrong and where do we go from here? This panel will explore the tenured history between racism and public policy and explore policies at the local, state, and federal levels that have negatively impacted the advancement of people of African descent in the United States. Panelists are invited to identify and discuss these policies in both their historical and contemporary contexts, and suggest opportunities for the next generation of policy reformers.


Promoting Black Health: Innovations for Health Equity

Health inequity for African Americans is the product of a history of marginalization throughout the United States. This panel will explore the efforts of members of the black community who have taken the lead on moving the needle to address health inequity. Panelists will describe their experiences innovating in the healthcare space both inside and outside of the doctor’s office and discuss how to better serve Black communities and tackle the social determinants of health. There will also be a discussion of the barriers to innovation and the challenges associated with encouraging future Black practitioners and researchers to enter this space.

Alister Martin

Alister Martin

Dr. Damon Francis

Dr. Damon Francis

Dr. Robert Winn

Dr. Robert Winn

Dr. Leandris Liburd

Dr. Leandris Liburd


The Myth of Multiculturalism: Policy Issues Affecting Black Canadians

One of the myths of multiculturalism is that it eliminates all forms of racial oppression. This panel seeks to debunk that belief in Canada – one of the most multicultural countries in the world – by exploring major policy issues affecting Black Canadians in health care, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice and education. What can the US learn from its neighbors and what insights can Canada glean from the American experience? This panel will provide participants with the unique opportunity to step outside of the American context and think globally about the issues facing Black communities at home and abroad.


The Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation

The Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation is an interactive educational tool that allows participants to learn why communities of color are twice as likely to experience hunger and poverty. The simulation outlines 13 federal policies and their use of racial discrimination in creating the wealth, income and hunger gaps we see today. Each policy card provides the quantitative impact of racial inequity, causing participants to lose or gain a series of money, land, and opportunity lost cards.

The Situation Room: Black Americans in Defense and Diplomacy

The national security workforce is responsible for protecting us at home and representing American interest aboard. Our defense and diplomacy professionals must reflect the diversity and talent of America. In recent years, we have seen high profile black Americans serving as Secretary of State, Attorney General, and National Security Advisors. These prominent public roles overshadow a dearth of Black junior and mid-career professionals of color in defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and national security law enforcement. Panelists will share stories of their journey to senior roles in Washington, D.C. and foreign nations. Attendees will learn about the robust career and educational opportunities in national security and foreign policy. All Americans are impacted by our national security policy; therefore, the bottom-up policy recommendation process should include the full diversity of thoughts and backgrounds of all Americans