2023 Excellence in Social Media Engagement, Small Newsroom finalist

We need to talk about racism.

About the Project

We need to talk about racism.

Here’s the deal. America’s racial reckoning is far from over. And while White supremacy may be on the rise, so too is a fast-growing antiracist movement. We need ideas and solutions that will move this country forward.

The challenge? There’s a huge void in mainstream media. Racist narratives, undertones, overtones and perspectives persist. Surface coverage follows the same old tropes, bending to the attention and needs of established power to the detriment of everyone else. We need to change the narrative.

Introducing The Emancipator.

Launched in April 2022, The Emancipator reimagines the first abolitionist newspapers in the United States—for a new day. Just as our namesake set out to end slavery in this country, we aim to use journalism to usher in a new era of racial equity, once and FOR ALL.

And this is how we do it:

Think social-first. Not everyone has the time or interest for long-form content. Meet people on the social streets they occupy. Engage folks where they “live,” work and play.

Keep it fresh. Find new and creative ways to present content. Surprise and engage.

Be unrelenting with the truth. Facts and data tell powerful stories about racial injustice. Let the numbers speak for themselves.

Let imagery do the work. Sometimes a single photograph can say more than any word ever could.

Crystallize the issues. Pull back the curtain on racist policies and practices, and expose how racism hurts us all.

Teach don’t preach. Share lessons and learnings that enable courageous conversations to take place.

Pass the mic. Showcase missing and under-amplified voices. Let lived experiences show us the way.

Explore throughlines. Respect history. Center the trailblazers. Look back to help us all move forward.

Be in community. Create experiences that connect our audience to changemakers and each other—from coast to coast.

Celebrate the triumphs. Fighting for racial justice is hard. Living with the absence of it is even harder. Spread joy.

A few examples of our work (see links):

The Justice Dictionary At the end of 2022, we pulled out key concepts from our scholarly perspectives and packaged them as a Justice Dictionary. Several audience members asked us to make this visually engaging social package into a coffee table book.

ReSolutions We did it again with 2023 ReSolutions, where we pulled out the takeaways from our expert contributors to kick off the new year.

Everything’s Racist: The Difficult History Behind Everything Everything’s Racist Comic by Joel Christian Gill: Covers everything from gun control, Dewey Decimal System and the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Racism Denial Series: Oh! I See What You Did There Our Racial Denial package provided a framework for engaging in robust dialogues by providing insights into opponents of racial justice.

Banned Books Week This collection of videos, posts, interviews, and events helped viewers interpret the staggering rise in book bans during the past year.