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How to End Racial Bias in Media with Karen Hunter and Daniel Stedman

Karen Hunter, journalist and host of the Karen Hunter Show on Sirius XM and Dan Stedman, founder of the New Ed-Tech platform Pressto, join me in this conversation on race. They share how Black students in the US and the African diaspora, and other low income and young people of color are using Pressto to create their own newspapers and zines. This is one solution for young people to express their views and share real experiences with race, culture and diversity instead of consuming false information from biased media.

You’ll hear how Karen had to confront her white editor at the Daily News about racial bias in their coverage of police shootings and how she convinced him to change his perspective.

 

Key topics: 

• Real news gathering has been replaced by algorithms and public opinion presented as fake facts. That includes how gaslighting, misinformation, and disinformation take the place of actual fact gathering, particularly in issues around race and racism.

• How Pressto gives young people hope and inspiration to be seen and heard, like how Daniela Fraser took out her phone and documented the murder of George Floyd.

• What does it mean to be white? Karen Hunter asks why people identify as white and foster the system of white supremacy. She talks about race as a social construct, and why she wants to dismantle the construct of race.

• Hunter’s experience as a Black journalist with the Daily News when Amadou Diallo was murdered by police in his vestibule and how her editor wanted to glorify the police without knowing what happened. After she  asked her editor if that could happen in a rich white neighborhood, he allowed her to address the issues of racism. She talks about the murder of Eleanor Bumpurs, Sean Bell and others who were killed by police because they were Black

• Why Pressto can help young people of color and other kids be future journalists who get the truth out and share their stories.

• How Daniel Stedman created the EdTech software Pressto, because he was inspired to make learning fun for kids and spark them to be journalists of the future.

• The importance of diversity of ideas and bringing Pressto to the African Diaspora including Jamaica and Canada.

• Karen asks Daniel Stedman about what it means to be white, if he sees himself as white. Daniel talks about his strong identification about his Jewish culture and what it means to be white.

• The fact that the Nazi Nuremberg laws crafted their strategy from the Jim Crow laws in the US.

Listen to the episode with Karen Hunter and Daniel Stedman to hear about the future of journalism, dismantling systemic racism and other bias in the media and how white people can use and share the privilege they have to take actions against racism. 

 

Guest Bios

Daniel Stedman is the CEO & Founder of Pressto, a tool that makes learning to write fun for kids and easy for teachers. Previously, Daniel was the Founder of Northside Media (acquired), the parent company to Northside Festival, Taste Talks, SummerScreen and Brooklyn Magazine. He has spoken at CES, Orange Institute and SXSW and has been featured in the NY Times, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Huffington Post, and more. Daniel is a published children’s book author and award-winning film director.

 

 

Karen Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, professor, publisher and “change agent,” according to Essence magazine, which named her one of the “Woke100” of 2018. She was also selected to the 2020 Ebony magazine’s Power 100 List. As a writer, Karen has coauthored eight New York Times bestsellers. As CEO of Karen Hunter Publishing, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, she published more than 35 books, including No. 1 NYT bestseller True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, as well as bestsellers with Kris Jenner and E. Lynn Harris. Karen has been named one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by industry bible Talkers Magazine every year since 2015. A New Jersey native, a Drew University graduate, Karen has been a full-time professor and Distinguished Lecturer in the Film & Media Department at Hunter College in New York City since 2004. In 2020, during the pandemic, Karen launched Knarrative, which is home to the largest Africana Studies classroom in the world.

 

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”
Contact Simma@SimmaLieberman.com
Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information
Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition)

Episode 87: Amr Awadallah and Sara Speer Selber; a Muslim/Jewish conversation on race

 

In this exciting and dramatic conversation on race, I’m joined by Amr Awadallah former VP of developer relations for Google Cloud, and Sara Speer Selber, CEO of Quest Essential. Amr, a Muslim who was born in Egypt, and Sara, a Jewish woman born in the US. We talk about the ability to change and the need to allow people to change instead of canceling them for what they thought or did in the past.

 

Amr was fired from Google after he wrote a paper called “We Are One,” about how he used to not like Jewish people because of what he had heard about Jewish people as he grew up. But after meeting and getting to know Jewish people and even finding out he had Jewish DNA he changed his thinking.  Some other employees at Google accused him of antisemitism. We talk about social justice, the need for education, and the importance of eradicating racism, antisemitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and other hate, it’s hypocritical and dangerous to “cancel,” fire, or ban people who have changed. If we can’t admit to past mistakes without fear, it will be almost impossible to get other people to let go of racism, etc.

 

Sara Speer Selber shares how she was raised to agree with everything Israel did and not like Muslims. After getting to know Muslim women and hearing about a group called Salaam Shalom which brought Muslim and Jewish women together, she began to change her thinking. She went on to help start a chapter of Salaam Shalom in Texas where she lives.

 

Key topics:

[4:42] Amr tells his story of what he used to think about Jewish people and what happened to make him change and get to know Jewish people.

 

[9:07] What happened when Simma was part of a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group and the support she got from Palestinians when her partner died. The Palestinians in the group attended the Jewish services.

 

[10:39] The stories Amr heard about Jewish people that shaped his thinking growing up.

 

[12:10] How Sara met Amr when they were both on a Clubhouse for two weeks where Palestinians and Israelis shared their stories. Sara heard Amr talk about what happened to him at Google and she reached out to him.

 

[17:06] Amr was in a deep depression about being fired and when Sara reached out to him it lifted his spirits. He talks about how he was impacted by all the Jewish people who reached out to him.

 

[34.02] Why we all need to work together against climate change which can kill us all. When we hate and refuse to interact it stops us from moving forward and we can all be destroyed.

 

[37.27] How the Muslim community came together in Texas to support the Rabbi and worshippers in the synagogue when people were taken hostage.

 

Guests Bio

Sara Speer Selber, Founding Partner of QuestEssential, has more than 40 years of experience managing people and organizations for excellence and success. Her career with for profit and non-profit entities has been characterized by entrepreneurial innovation and has been recognized repeatedly by professional and community groups for her business achievements and many contributions to the welfare of others.

 

 

Dr. Amr Awadallah is the CEO and cofounder of ZIR AI, a company that is revolutionizing how we seek knowledge across all languages of the world. He previously served as VP of Developer Relations for Google Cloud until July 2021. Prior to joining Google in Nov 2019, Amr co-founded Cloudera in 2008 and as Global CTO, he spent 11 years working closely with enterprises around the world on how to ingest and extract value from big data (he famously coined the terms “schema-on-read vs schema-on-write”).

Episode 63: Janet Hamada/Japanese/Jewish Trauma

Janet Hamada- Japanese/Jewish Trauma

 

In this conversation on race, I’m joined by Janet Hamada, who shares her life as a biracial (Japanese and white Jewish) woman. Janet is the Executive Director of The Next Door, a social services organization in Hood River, Oregon that provides a wide range of support to families who need it.

 

Key topics:

  • How her father’s family, fourth generation Japanese were taken from their home and incarcerated into a Japanese internment camp during World War Two. Because the US was a war with Japan, all Japanese people were rounded up from their homes, jobs and businesses and forced into these camps. It didn’t matter how long they had been in the US, what they did for a living, how much they loved the US, they were viewed as potential threats. They were imprisoned for three years and then set free with only $25.00. Many of them lost everything.
  • Her mother’s family were Jewish and originally from Eastern Europe. They left before the holocaust. Janet’s husband is also Jewish and lost many relatives in the Nazi concentration camps.
  • Why Janet Hamada sees the last four years as history repeating itself and her fear that the US is going in the directions of Nazi Germany.
  • How her bi-racial identity, the experiences of her family and inherited trauma have impacted her personally and the work she does at The Next Door.
  • Janet’s work at the border, and what she witnessed with refugees being denied entry and kids separated from parents.
  • Because of her last name and how she looks, people who didn’t know she was Jewish would often say antisemitic remarks. She talks about how she speaks up.
  • Racism of who is allowed in the US and who is not
  • Racism, antisemitism and hate
  • How her organization, The Next Door has made a big difference in strengthening all types of families

Janet Hamada, M.S.W

For nearly three decades, Janet has dedicated her efforts to improve the lives of her neighbors. A native of Chicago’s South Side neighborhood, she brings to Meyer a long history of work in the nonprofit sector, particularly in the areas of administration, refugee resettlement, employment, community organizing, economic development, health promotion and services for youth. Her current professional and community activities include serving as executive director of The Next Door, Inc., a social service organization that strengthens children and families and improves communities in seven counties in the mid-Columbia region.

Janet serves as the current president of the Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs’ board of directors, and as a member of the boards of directors of the Meyer Memorial Trust, Hood River Rotary Foundation and Four Rivers Early Learning Hub. In addition, she serves on the Building Bridges: Columbia Gorge Education and Workforce Collaborative and as a community advisory council member for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

Janet earned her Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington.

 

 

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