KU News Release

Nov. 23, 2010
Contact: Simran Sethi, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-8021

Journalism students to host virtual summit on diversity and social media

LAWRENCE — Students from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas will host an online summit titled “Telling Stories of Diversity in the Digital Age” on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 100 Stauffer-Flint Hall.

The summit begins at 11 a.m. with an introduction by Simran Sethi, associate professor of journalism, who teaches Diversity in Media, a course cross-listed in the schools of journalism and social welfare.

“I wanted to highlight the ways in which journalists and nonjournalists alike are participating in a broader range of storytelling through the use of Twitter, blogs, Facebook and other digital platforms like the iPad,” said Sethi. “This course, culminating in the digital summit, is the ideal format for a deep exploration of participatory media and opportunities for the democratization of storytelling.”

Sethi will be followed by a series of guest lecturers covering topics such as Social Media and the Notion of a Post Racial America; Women in New Media; Global Social Media: Giving Us a Voice, Or Limiting Whose Voice is Heard; and Different Voices, Same Technology.

The summit is co-presented with UNITY: Journalists of Color, a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color, and will include concluding remarks from Executive Director Onica Makwakwa.

The event will be streamed live via Ustream on the UNITY homepage and the journalism school’s homepage. The summit also will be liveblogged on Twitter under the hashtag #digitaldiversity. Twitter participants will be given the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers and are eligible for a free high-definition Flip video camera courtesy of UNITY. Those interested in participating also may attend in person.

A complete schedule of events follows and can also be found on the summit’s Facebook page.

11-11:10 a.m. — Welcome from Ann Brill, dean of journalism, and summit introduction by Sethi.

11:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m. — Social Media and the Notion of a Post Racial America. Chris Rabb, visiting researcher at Princeton University and a nationally recognized thought leader on the intersection of social identity, entrepreneurship, politics and media; LaToya Peterson, editor of Racialicious.com; and Shawn Williams, award-winning president and editor of DallasSouthNews.org.

12:30-1:40 p.m. — Women in New Media. Maegan la Mala Ortiz, managing editor and co-publisher of VivirLatino.com; Marcia Yerman, writer and co-founder of cultureID, a social community dedicated to creating a connection between activism and the arts; Pat Lynch, CEO and founder of Women’s Online Media and Education Network (W.O.M.E.N.); Shelby Knox, feminist blogger, writer and activist; Erin Vest, former award-winning reporter turned blogger, now the social media strategist for BlogHer, the largest women’s blogging network.

1:50-2:50 p.m. Global Social Media: Giving Us a Voice, Or Limiting Whose Voice is Heard. Nick Valencia, national desk editor for CNN, who has covered drug-related violence in Mexico; Vicky Lu, TV news reporter for Chinese State Operated News Press; Sekombi Katondolo, dancer, artist, filmmaker, community organizer, journalist and center director for Yole! Africa Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Goran Sabah Ghafour, reporter, editor and author from Kurdistan who is studying journalism at KU.

3-4 p.m. — Different Voices, Same Technology. Shannon Des Roches Rosa, writer, editor and autism advocate who writes about parenting, autism and geekery; Robin Deutsch, chief executive manager for PsychMoo, a networking site for the “mentally interesting”; David Morrison, disabilities columnist with StarNewsMedia in Wilmington, N.C., who is attending school and living with a disability; Maria Holter, entrepreneur and documentarian on a quest to put mainstream equipment, smart software and new media in the hands of nonverbal people for communication, learning, fun and social networking.

4-4:10 p.m. — Conclusion by Makwakwa.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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