VCU to host daylong discussion of race and American society
Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University are examining the role race plays in the criminal justice system, public opinion and the media at the daylong Wilder Symposium “Race and American Society.”
The symposium will take place on Friday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. at the Grace Street Theater, 934 W. Grace St. on the VCU Monroe Park Campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“To say that race is the ‘500-pound gorilla’ in the room would be a gross understatement. A thoughtful and intellectual discussion about ‘Race and American Society’ not only is timely, but necessary,” said former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. “Hopefully, this symposium will provide for the fullest opportunities to hear from those best qualified, by training and experience, to engage and to inform a questioning audience.”
The day’s first session, “Race & the Criminal Justice System in America,” will take place between 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott. Presenters are John Venuti, VCU police chief; Alfred Durham, Richmond police chief; and local attorneys Vinceretta Taylor Chiles and Vincent Robertson. Robert Holsworth, Ph.D., will moderate.
The second session, “Race & Public Opinion,” will run from 10:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Presenters will be Scott Keeter, Ph.D., survey director of the Pew Research Center; Gail Christopher, vice president of policy at the Kellogg Foundation; and Andra Gillespie, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Emory University. The session will be moderated by Ronald Lester.
The final session, “Race and the Media,” will take place from 2 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. The presenters for this session are talk radio hosts Joe Madison at Sirius/XM radio and Jack Gravely at WLEE.