New American Dream (4/28/21 – 5/26/21) was a five-week series of virtual town halls presented by The WNET Group on disrupting systemic racism and envisioning the nation beyond it. It gathered leaders from across the US to examine major issues affecting diverse communities throughout the NYC area and across the country. The series examined structural racism through five pillars: voting rights, artificial intelligence, Black journalism, White antiracism, and cultural narratives. The focus was on strategies and solidarity, with an understanding of history and eyes toward the future.
(Week 1) DEMOCRACY THAT DOESN’T FLINCH: Inside Campaigns to Build and Diversify Political Power: How are historically disenfranchised communities winning new political power and standing up to structural racism? What lessons do they offer in the fight for democracy? This conversation was with five leaders whose work increases political clout and voting rights for their communities and voting rights for all Americans.
(Week 2) REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: Conceiving a Future Forged With Antiracist Technology: How have old forces of bigotry and bias gained new life in the digital era? How do we uproot racist algorithms in healthcare, criminal justice, business, and other fields? This conversation was with five leaders who work to bring human rights and racial justice to artificial intelligence and genetic science.
(Week 3) NEWS THAT NEEDS TELLING: Journalism That Examines Injustice and Explores Black Power: What drives new journalism initiatives that empower black communities and dismantle racist systems? How does that work advance the principles of democracy? This conversation was with five leaders of new journalism initiatives that propel black culture, critical thinking, and racial justice.
(Week 4) TURNED AGAINST THE TIDE: Heeding the Call of White Antiracism: What led them to the work, what obstacles do they face, and how do they measure success? This was a conversation with five leaders who bring the message of antiracism to White communities through music, culture, and direct engagement.
(Week 5) BRAVER THAN THE ONE BEFORE IT: In Search of the New American Dream: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – are they still the pillars of the American Dream, or does systemic racism in the U.S. demand a more radical vision? This conversation was with five major authors on what America means and can become for people long kept at its margins.