Racism Experienced by BIPOC Consumers, Employees to be Unpacked in Next Episode of LSU Reilly Center’s Racism Series

February 18, 2022

BATON ROUGE—The next installment of LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs’ Racism: Dismantling the System series, “Is the Customer Always Right? Discrimination Experienced by BIPOC Consumers,” will take place Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 3:30 p.m. CT. The episode will give insight on how companies handle racism that their consumers and employees experience.

In 2020, more domestic and global brands began to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives into their business plans to condemn racial injustice and show their support for BIPOC consumers and employees. However, many companies still struggle to effectively execute DEI initiatives. Panelists will explore this issue and discuss steps companies can take to make their BIPOC consumers and employees feel supported and valued.

Davante Lewis, director of public affairs and outreach for the Louisiana Budget Project, will moderate the conversation. Lewis’ recent experience with racial discrimination as a consumer, and the ineffective response of business management, inspired the episode. 

“I should, like every other patron or employee, enter a place of business without fear of bigotry at the hands of an employee or another customer,” said Lewis. “It’s past time that we hold businesses accountable for perpetrating or fostering environments of prejudice and discrimination. Companies need to better support consumers of color when they experience racism both with their words and with their actions.”


  • Davante Lewis, Director of Public Affairs and Outreach, Louisiana Budget Project (moderator)
  • Alexander Camardelle, Ph.D., Director of Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
  • Cassi Pittman Claytor, Ph.D., Climo Junior Professor; Acting Co-Director of African & African American Studies Minor, Case Western Reserve University
  • Traci Parker, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

This event is in 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 the LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

The episode will be hosted using Zoom and broadcast live on Louisiana Budget Project’s Facebook page. Admission is free, but you must register in advance on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom meeting access code. All episodes in the series are recorded and uploaded to the Manship School’s YouTube channel. For more information, contact acharbonnet1@lsu.edu.


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 Affairs 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 lsu.edu/diversity.