Yearlong Racism Series to Launch Sept. 22 as Part of LSU-Southern-Louisiana Budget Project-NAACP Louisiana State Conference Partnership

September 18, 2020

Racism Series Graphic with Partner logosBATON ROUGE – The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is pleased to announce a yearlong partnership with Southern University and A&M College’s Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences, Louisiana Budget Project, NAACP Louisiana State Conference and LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to present “Racism: Dismantling the System.”

Following a panel discussion in early May 2020, hosted in partnership with the Louisiana Budget Project, on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, the Reilly Center began to imagine a larger series of conversations about racism. The need for this series was only heightened when three murders went viral: Ahmaud Arbery, jogging in his neighborhood; George Floyd, lying on the ground in handcuffs with a police officer’s knee on his neck; and Breonna Taylor, sleeping in bed while police executed a no-knock warrant for a suspect who had been arrested earlier the same day.

“Countless citizens have made it clear through protest of systemic racism that this country as a majority is ready for fundamental change,” said Damien Ejigiri, Ph.D., dean of the Nelson Mandela College at Southern. “We hope that this partnership brings not only vital conversation to the table but also sparks tangible results in our communities.”

Set to launch Sept. 22, the series will serve to uplift and amplify the voices of community advocates, academics, journalists and more working for racial justice in the nation and beyond. It will focus on solution-oriented action toward equal opportunity and justice in our communities.

“One of the three main tenets of the Reilly Center’s mission is to advance conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Jenée Slocum, Ph.D., director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs. “With the ongoing racial tensions our country is experiencing, we understand the importance of using our platform to bring attention to issues facing our nation and are committed to continue working toward a more just and equitable world.”

The September and October schedule is below.

  • September 22 | What is Race? Unpacking Racism in Our Structures & Institutions | 3:30 p.m. CST
    In the inaugural episode of Racism: Dismantling the System, NAACP Louisiana State Conference President Michael McClanahan, Ph.D., will moderate a conversation tracing the construction of structures and institutions built on racism in society from the earliest days of the United States. Local and national experts will explore the history of how racism has been built into the fabric of the United States, from colonization to slavery to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Panelists include:
    • Michael McClanahan, Ph.D., NAACP Louisiana State Conference, President, Moderator
    • Laura Adderly, Ph.D., Tulane University, Associate Professor, Department of History
    • Cassandra Chaney, Ph.D., Louisiana State University School of Social Work, J. Franklin Bayhi Endowed Professor
    • Andrew Jolivétte, Ph.D., UC San Diego Professor, Chair, Department of Ethnic Studies & Director Native American and Indigenous Studies
    • Albert Samuels, Ph.D., Southern University Nelson Mandela College of Government & Social Sciences, Jewel L. Prestage-Kellogg Professor of Political Science and Chair, Department of Political Science and History
  • October Miniseries to be presented in partnership with Baton Rouge Area Association of Black Journalists and LSU National Association of Black Journalists.
    • October 7 | The Black Press: Advocating from the Beginning to Today | 3:30 p.m. CST
    • October 21 | Justice for Us All: Black Journalists and Their Continued Fight for Accuracy, Representation and a Seat at the Table| 3:30 p.m. CST
    • October 28 | New Media, New Rules: How Social Media and Digital Media Outlets Help Expand the Black Narrative and March Toward Real Systemic Change | 3:30 p.m. CST

“The Nelson Mandela College is excited to partner with the Reilly Center and others to present this series,” said Albert Samuels, Ph.D., Jewel L. Prestage-Kellogg Professor of Political Science and chair of the Department of Political Science and History at Southern. “As our country has continued to grapple with the fallout of a global pandemic that disproportionately affects BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities and the viral images of Black men and women dying as a result of police brutality, this series comes as a much-needed spotlight on the root cause of these symptomatic issues — racism.”

The series will be hosted using Zoom and broadcast on Facebook Live. Admission is free, but you must register in advance on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom meeting access code. The episodes will also be recorded and uploaded to the Manship School’s YouTube channel. For more information, contact


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication, and dual MMC/law degree.

The Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences at Southern University aims to educate students who will matriculate with the spirit of service, superb competence and employability skills needed in a global marketplace. The College is located on the campus of Southern University and A&M College, the flagship of the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) University System in the nation.

The Louisiana Budget Project (LBP) monitors and reports on state public policies and how they affect Louisiana’s low- to moderate-income families. Using research, outreach and advocacy, LBP educates policymakers, the nonprofit community and the public about the economic and racial barriers that Louisianans face each day, and looks for solutions that can create a more widely shared prosperity.

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

The LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a division of the Office of Academic Affair and provides support, referral and information to students, faculty and staff on issues and concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information, please visit

Contact Kelci Sibley | LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs | 225-578-0416 |