Conversations on Race: Disinformation & the Fight for Racial Equity

This year’s Conversation on Race will take place on May 14th at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth El in South Orange. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kelly Harris, sr. staff director at University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Africana Studies, who will explore the threats of disinformation and its historical roots in perpetuating racial stereotypes and dismantling progress in equity and inclusion. This community conversation will foster awareness, understanding, and collective action against the harmful effects of intentionally misleading, racially charged propaganda.

Disinformation has shaped narratives around racial justice and exacerbated social inequalities for decades. There’s history of using racialized propaganda to manipulate public opinion, maintain racial hierarchies, enforce racial segregation, undermine civil rights, deny access to housing and different services, and promote voter suppression.

The advent of the internet and social media facilitated the spread of disinformation on an unprecedented scale. False narratives can go viral, pushing disinformation that targets specific racial and ethnic groups and influencing public opinion on efforts to address systemic and institutional racism.

As we face new and growing challenges to diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, work, and civic life, we are yet again facing Dr. King’s “fierce urgency of now.” It is imperative to find ways to deepen our advocacy for racial justice. Register here.

Want to learn more about this topic in advance of the conversation? Check out these articles and books recommended by our planning committee:

Critical disinformation studies: History, power, and politics

Misinformation is eroding the public’s confidence in democracy

Disinformation: A Racist Tactic, from Slave Revolts to Elections

Misinformation and disinformation

Elections and Disinformation Are Colliding Like Never Before in 2024

The disaster of misinformation: a review of research in social media


On Disinformation: How to Fight for Truth and Protect Democracy by Lee McIntyre

The Attack Within by Barbara McQuade



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