March 19-20, 2019

Truth and Transformation:
Changing Racial Narratives in Media Conference Schedule

(Sessions and times are subject to change) 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019: The Power of the Storyteller 

8:30 a.m. – Keynote: Trauma Across Generations: Media’s Impact on Communities of Color

Description: What happens when communities see their stories absented, erased, marginalized, or flattened – generation after generation? Stories, and the media that transmit them, hold immense power. In this address, behavioral consultant Sam Simmons will discuss stories, power, and historical trauma as he sets a foundation for media to effectively engage communities of color.

9:45 a.m. — Session One: The Power of Story

Description: How do stories and narratives shape the way we know ourselves and the way we perceive others? And what effect does it have on the health of civic life when some stories get elided while others get privileged? This session draws on a number of approaches borrowed from the humanities to look at the power of stories in our lives, relationships, and society at large, while helping build connections through guided reflections and conversations.

(This session introduces media professionals to the core strategies and concepts of the Minnesota Humanities Center’s approach to community engagement through absent narratives—those voices or stories often left out or marginalized. Throughout this session, participants will use the framework of story to challenge their assumptions, strengthen their relationships, and broaden their worldviews.)

12:30 p.m. — Lunch

1:45 p.m. — Session Two: Stepping into a Story

Description: Problematic narratives about race may seem intractable, but a different approach to how we hear and share stories can help media professionals develop relationships that effect real change. Throughout human history, circles have facilitated the most intimate and important conversations about who we are and how we are to proceed. This session connects ancient traditions of storytelling and community building with the core responsibility of media makers: sourcing and reporting human stories. In an exercise of guided reportage and reflection, participants experience a story from all sides – as sharer, listener, and reporter – while leaning on relationships to tell a more complete and accurate account.

5:30 p.m. – Reception

Wednesday, March 20, 2019: Addressing Inaccurate Racial Narratives

8:00–8:30 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. — Keynote and Panel Discussion: Championing Narrative Change in the Media

Description: Media makers have the power to create and champion more accurate and complete narratives, on both individual and collective levels. Learn from leaders in the field about how they are changing the landscape and challenging the systems that stand in their way.

10:45 a.m. — Connect and Reflect

Description: Strong connections create enduring change. This time allows participants to connect and reflect with one another as they consider next steps toward narrative change.

11:45 a.m. — Lunch

1 p.m. — Amplifying Community Solutions for Change

Description: Communities impacted by problematic or inaccurate narratives about race in the media know what needs to change, so how can media support community solutions to enact that? This session once again gathers participants in circle to build skills around deep listening as they eavesdrop on a diverse and intergenerational group of individuals discussing what change can – and should – look like. This format asks participants to listen without bias to how community members understand the problems, stakes, and solutions to inaccurate narratives about race in Minnesota. And it sets the stage for media makers to engage communities as true partners in effecting change while co-creating practical tools for media professionals to use in assessing their work.

 4:30 p.m. – Close