Race and Justice: Here and Now


Lakeshore Public Media hosted a live conversation via Zoom with community leaders, political figures and law enforcement to discuss recent events related to the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The one-hour program was hosted by Michael Puente, Northwest Indiana bureau reporter for WBEZ and host of Off Mic on Lakeshore Public Radio (WLPR). The goal was to hold a timely conversation between a variety of perspectives to discuss some of the issues and deeply rooted problems that have triggered these protests while exploring options for moving forward in our communities.

Guests participating through Zoom included State Senator Lonnie Randolph (D); Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, President and CEO of Urban League of Northwest Indiana; Lorell Kilpatrick, Organizer of Black Lives Matter NWI – Gary; Frank Mrvan, 1st Congressional District Democratic Nominee; Rev. Dr. John E. Jackson Sr., Senior Pastor of Trinity UCC-Gary and retired Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez.

With four days of preparation, everyone at the station came together, committing their time and resources to the project. We connected to community leaders across our region for help to locate participants qualified to speak to these issues from unique perspectives.

The event took place at 6pm and aired live on Lakeshore PBS, Lakeshore Public Radio and our Facebook page, and the community was encouraged to ask questions for the group through social media.

Our goal was to have a dialogue with the community and with government officials and law enforcement in a safe environment, allowing different voices and perspectives to be heard. We saw it as an opportunity to engage in conversations that strive to improve understanding across our different platforms in order to move Northwest Indiana forward collectively.