Toward Racial Justice

Conversations to educate, engage and inspire change.


About the series:

Toward Racial Justice is a biweekly series of virtual community conversations addressing systemic racism and injustice in Central Pennsylvania and beyond. Series moderator is Charles Ellison, executive producer & host of “Reality Check” on WURD in Philadelphia — the only Black-owned talk radio station in Pennsylvania.

You are encouraged to submit questions and share personal experiences at discuss@witf.org or by using #RacialJusticePA on your preferred social media platform.

Watch the latest discussion

Toward Racial Justice: Voices from the Midstate photo series

PBS American Portrait is an ongoing, evolving initiative that asks you, and people all over the country, to submit your individual stories by responding to one of a number of thought-provoking prompts. Whether it’s joy or sorrow, triumph or hardship, family traditions you’ve followed for decades or just the chaos of the morning school run, we want to put together a picture of life as it’s really lived today. 

WATCH


Past conversations

Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on How to be an Ally examines what it means to be an ally and why it is so important for all of us to work together in the fight against racism. (Broadcast live on Nov. 5)

Panelists:
Aurora Archer
Kelly Croce Sorg
Amanda Kemp
Tsedale M. Melaku


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Policing & Safety examines racial bias in policing, the public’s view of the police and the movement to defund law enforcement. (Broadcast live on Oct. 22)

Panelists:
Jamiel L. Alexander
Detective Sergeant Ramon Caraballo
Commissioner Thomas Carter
Byron & Stephanie Lewis
Capt. Sonia Pruitt


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Race & Identity in the Media explores role that news organizations play in covering people of color and the direct impact it can have on stereotypes, cultural perceptions and society as a whole. (Broadcast live on Oct. 8)

Panelists:
Sandra Clark
Marquise Davon Richards
David Stamps
Torraine Walker


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Race, Elections & Voting explores the reasons why people of color’s representation in elections matter. (Broadcast live on Sept. 24)

Panelists:
Kendelle Durkson
Veronica Ruiz
Shelice Stewart
Justin Walton
Ralph Rodriguez
Mikell Simpson
Jonathan Tinoco


Youth of color are more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system. Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Race & Juvenile Justice explores the reasons behind that fact. (Broadcast live on Sept. 10)

Panelists:
Steve Bishop
Robert Saleem Holbrook
Tiffany Sizemore
Lenore Wyant


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Environmental Justice examines why it is important everyone has equal access the knowledge and decision-making process to have a healthy environment. (Broadcast live on Aug. 27)

Panelists:
State Rep. Chris Rabb
Darral Addison
Dr. Reginald Archer
Brandi Colander
Tommy Joshua
Megan Ruoro


People of color are regularly undercounted in the census. Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on the Census & Race explores the ways this survey directly impacts our community. (Broadcast live on Aug. 13)

Panelists:
Leonard S. Brown
Norman Bristol Colon
Kimberly Corbin
George Fernandez
Lunden McClain


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Race & Housing explores discriminatory practices in real estate market, the public housing system, access to home ownership and the impacts of gentrification. (Broadcast live on July 30)

Panelists:
Beck Joyner
Sharee D. McFadden
Angela McIver


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Racial Inequality in Education explores the racial disparities in our education system and steps we can take to address the issue. (Broadcast live on July 16)

Panelists:
Dr. Nikole Hollins-Sims
Stephen Sharp
Casey Stokes-Rodriguez, LSW
Peter Groff


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Racial Trauma & Mental Health explores the links between racism and mental health. (Broadcast live on July 2)

Panelists:
Alphonso Nathan, LPC
Dr. Ericka Pinckney, NCC, LPC
Kelsey Benn
Dr. Altha J. Stewart


Toward Racial Justice: A Conversation on Systemic Racism is the first in WITF’s Toward Racial Justice series of community conversations. (Broadcast live on June 18)

Panelists:
Armenta Hinton, Ph.D.
Jamiel L. Alexander
Dr. Monea Abdul-Majeed
Sam Gerlach

RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES


LISTEN


READ

Recommendations from Toward Racial Justice panelists and co-organizing committee.


Nonfiction

(Seven Stories Press)
(Ballantine Books)
(UNC Press)
(The New Press)
(One World)
(Haymarket Books)
(One World)
(The New Press)

(Atria Books)

(Crossing Press)
(Ballantine Books)
(Russell Sage Foundation)

Fiction

(Penguin Classics)
(Vintage International)
(Vintage International)

Toward Racial Justice committee of co-organizers:

  • Jankail Adams — Parent Liaison for the PA State GEAR UP-3 program, Harrisburg School District
  • Sharia Benn — President & Executive Artistic Director of Sankofa African American Theatre Company
  • Corey Dupree — Chief Operating Officer at The Bridge: Eco Village in Harrisburg
  • Stephanie A. Jirard — Chief Diversity Officer & Professor of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University
  • Mark Rhodes — Diversity Educator and Strategist, Owner of Key Learning Consultants and a Commissioner with the City of York Human Relations Commission
  • Delma Rivera-Lytle — Diversity Education Specialist at Central York School District
  • Major Kristal M. Turner-Childs — Director, Bureau of Forensic Services, Pennsylvania State Police & WITF Board Member

A Time to Act!

In April 1968, WITF produced four half-hour documentaries about life in Harrisburg’s “ghetto” and hosted town halls around Central Pennsylvania to continue the discussion. After decades in our programming vault, these videos are now available for viewing online.