For the second year in a row, The Root Institute assembles in our nation’s capital to bring together America’s greatest Black minds.
For one full day, The Root’s newsroom shares the stage at Howard University with Black luminaries from every corner of the nation as we focus on building a blueprint for a better Black America.
10:15 to 10:35 AM | How HBCUs Can Be a Beacon of Hope
In light of the Supreme Court’s slashing of affirmative action, HBCU leaders are finding ways to move forward.
Lisa Crooms-Robinson, Interim Dean of the School of Law at Howard University
Jacqueline Jones, Dean of the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State University
Yanick Rice Lamb, professor and former Chair of Howard University’s Department of Media, Journalism and Film
10:40 to 11:05 AM | AI and the Future of Black America
Panelists will discuss how researchers and creators are trying to ensure AI is Black friendly, in spite of the lack of representation in the field.
Mutale Nkonde, Founding CEO of AI for the People
Gbolahan Olanubi, PhD, Senior UX Researcher at Google
Jamila Smith-Loud, Research Manager of Responsible AI at Google
Ingrid Sturgis, Department Chair of Media, Journalism, Film, and Communication at Howard University
11:10 to 11:35 AM | Inside Hollywood’s Backstory
Legendary television producer and author Susan Fales-Hill discusses Hollywood’s Black story and how our favorite Black characters evolve in the writer’s room.
Susan Fales-Hill, consulting writer/producer of Max’s And Just Like That
Shanelle Genai, Entertainment Writer at The Root
11:40 AM to 12:35 PM | Tackling the Black Maternal Health Crisis
This panel will tackle the accelerating Black maternal morbidity and mortality crisis, the impact of COVID-19, how abortion bans fuel that crisis, racism and income inequality, and most importantly, where we go from here. Each panelist will bring their unique perspective on how we can get to a place where Black pregnant people can feel safe in this country.
Presented by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
Dr. Uché Blackstock, Founding CEO of Advancing Health Equity
Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, Founder and Director of the National Birth Equity Collaborative
Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
Oriaku Njoku, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds
Jessica Washington, Senior Reporter at The Root
12:50 to 1:10 PM | Fireside Chat with Don Lemon
The Root editor-in-chief Tatsha Robertson catches up with veteran journalist Don Lemon to discuss the media, Black men, and his new life.
Don Lemon, writer, TV journalist, and former anchor of CNN primetime program Don Lemon Tonight
Tatsha Robertson, Editor-in-Chief of The Root
1:15 to 1:40 PM | The Future of Democracy
Many young people think democracy is a given, but is it?
Dr. Greg Carr, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies at Howard University and Adjunct Professor at Howard School of Law
Dr. David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition
Jasper Smith, Editor-in-Chief of The Hilltop
1:45 to 2:05 PM | The DNC Speaks to The Root
We’ll talk about what Democrats are doing to engage Black voters, particularly Black male voters, this election cycle. We’ll also get into Democrats’ plans to address the concerns of low-income Americans and whether they can live up to the promise of Biden-economics.
Jaime Harrison, Chair of Democratic National Committee
Jessica Washington, Senior Reporter for The Root
2:10 to 2:35 PM | The Plight of Black Women
We see it all over the news: Black successful women are targeted in the workforce, at home, and on the political front. Our esteemed panel will explore this hot topic and why is it that Black women are always placed on the hot seat.
Presented by Google
Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Mayor of Atlanta
Orlena Nwokah Blanchard, Managing Partner at Seven Elements Group and co-creator of the CROWN Act Movement
Melonie Parker, Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Google
Reecie Colbert, host of The Reecie Colbert Show
2:40 to 3:05 PM | The Power of the Young Black Vote
This panel of DC insiders will discuss the strength of the young vote, especially the powerful Black male vote, which experts say is being targeted by everyone from Trump, the Republican party, the dark web, Russians, and everyone in between.
Stephen Benjamin, Senior Advisor to President Biden
Jotaka Eaddy, Founder and CEO of Full Circle Strategies
Antjuan Seawright, CEO of Blueprint Strategy
Keith Reed, contributor to The Root
3:10 to 3:40 PM | Bravo Stars Meet The Root
These powerful Black women will explain how they successfully use their shows to promote entrepreneurial female empowerment.
Venita Aspen, star of Bravo’s Southern Charm
Cynthia Bailey, alum of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Candiace Dillard-Bassett, star of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Potomac
Jordan Emanuel, star of Bravo’s Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard
Dr. Wendy Osefo, star of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Potomac
Shanelle Genai, Entertainment Writer for The Root
3:45 to 4:10 PM | Leveraging Your Niche and Accelerating Your Brand
A Shark Tank casting agent, an Amazon influencer, and an author are turning their respective niches into empires. This panel will show a different side of entrepreneurship and economic equity.
Presented by Amazon Black Business Accelerator
Brandon Andrews, casting consultant for Shark Tank and Cofounder of Gauge
Nneka Kanu, attorney and style influencer Queen of Sleeves
Denene Millner, author, podcaster, and radio host
Danyel Surrency Jones, Head of Amazon Black Business Accelerator
Erin Horne McKinney, National Executive Director of Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship
4:15 to 4:35 PM | The Evolution of Success
Chef Carla Hall will use stories from the evolution of her personal and professional life to instill lessons she’s learned along the way, from overcoming fear to building confidence and learning the importance of risk-taking. Hall will supply us with the tools that we need to build a better Black America.
Carla Hall, TV personality, chef, and author
Amira Castilla, Staff Writer for The Root
4:40 to 5:00 PM | The Role of Media in Black America
In an era of misinformation and miseducation, what role does the media play for Black folk in the coming election and beyond?
Bakari Sellers, former State Representative of South Carolina
Tatsha Robertson, Editor-in-Chief of The Root
Read more of The Root’s timely coverage related to issues from the 2023 Root Institute.
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