A woman-focused statewide nonprofit will host its annual capstone event on the topic of antiracism and will feature an ESPN reporter who covers the intersection between race and entertainment.
Inforum West Michigan said it will host its annual capstone event from 5:45-7:30 p.m. Nov. 12.
The 2020 program is titled, “The Year That Changed Everything: Antiracism and the Urgency of Now,” and features keynote speaker Kelley Carter, a Michigan native and senior entertainment reporter of ESPN’s The Undefeated, where she focuses on the relationship between race, pop culture and sports.
“The responsibility of media — journalism, yes, but certainly images that are shaped and created by Hollywood as well — is at its most important,” Carter said. “2020 has called every industry to the carpet. Nearly every public sector is being taken to task about what their inner workings look like, and Hollywood — always thought to be one of the more progressive industries in platform — is finding that it has to really examine not only the output of images and how they contribute to racial inequities and stereotypes, but also take a hard, firm look at who gets to make those decisions.”
Terry Barclay, Inforum president and CEO, said it is “an extreme honor” to have Kelley Carter as this year’s keynote speaker.
“Inforum is thrilled to have the ability to host this annual event despite the pandemic and shine a light on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Barclay said.
Tickets are available here for the virtual event, which also will feature a panel of West Michigan women who will discuss ways the community can better work toward diversity and inclusion.
The annual celebration is typically held in Grand Rapids but went virtual as a result of COVID-19. Inforum has moved all of its efforts, including programming, networking events and group meetings, online.
Following the keynote address, Robyn Afrik, the first director for the Ottawa County Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will moderate a panel discussion featuring panelists Michelle LaJoye-Young, Kent County sheriff; Kelsey Perdue, Kids Count project director at the Michigan League for Public Policy; and Milinda Ysasi, Grand Rapids city commissioner and executive director of The SOURCE. The conversation will focus on what community members can do to make strides toward equity and inclusion.
“This year has been nothing but unprecedented and unpredictable,” Barclay said. “Regardless of the things it might throw at us, we can grow, learn and improve during these times. This year’s theme encourages those in attendance to take charge and make change for the better.”
Amway is the premier sponsor for the event. Other supporters are Meijer, Spectrum Health, Ascension, and 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications.
More information on the event is online.