Janai Nelson Joins Roundtable Discussion at the WNYC & The Apollo Theater MLK Event “Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas”

On Sunday, January 17 at 3pm, for the 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, WNYC and the Apollo Theater partnered for a third year to present “Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas, as part of the Apollo’s Uptown Hall series. WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer and Jami Floyd, local host of WNYC’s All Things Considered, moderated  an open and honest discussion on disparity in America, looking at the persistence of institutional racism and how individuals can combat racism everyday on multiple fronts.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was masterful at shining a spotlight on institutional racism, but he also spoke vigorously of the need to fight prejudice on all levels – from the political to the personal to within one’s individual soul. Through one-on-one interviews, media presentations and a series of panels with leading voices in journalism, higher education, activism, and social justice spheres – including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, Race Forward Executive Director Rinku Sen, and Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson – “Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas” identified how individuals, businesses, organizations and legislators can engage in sustained efforts to combat racism and effect social and political change.

Other guests included:

  • Taylor Branch – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistauthor and historian best known for his award-wining trilogy of books chronicling the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Rokhaya Diallo – French-Senegalese filmmaker, TV personality and cultural activist
  • Eddie Glaude, Jr., Ph.D.  – Author and Chair of Princeton University’s African-American Studies Department
  • Janai Nelson – Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Rev. Mike Walrond – Sr. Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York
  • Sheena Wright – CEO, United Way of Greater NYC