The Root Announces Lineup for First Annual Root Institute Event

Today The Root, one of the largest sites covering Black news, politics, culture and opinion, announced the lineup for its first-ever Root Institute event, presented by Target. The Root Institute is a virtual, collaborative conference exploring socio-political, cultural, and entertainment topics to advance the agenda of Black Americans, as exemplified by the current state of race relations in the US. The event will use its platform to amplify leading Black voices discussing how to solve trending issues, provide tangible solutions, and setting the agenda for Black America’s future.

The Root decided to host its inaugural annual event virtually in 2020 due to the lasting effects of COVID-19. While initially intended as a live, in-person event, The Root Institute decided it was too poignant of a time to miss the opportunity to take a deep dive into the issues currently affecting the African American community. The purpose of this event is to host inspiring and thought-provoking conversations that lead to solutions for the Black community. Beginning in 2021, The Root Institute intends to host the event in person, to allow for an interactive discussion with panelists and attendees.

“At this incredibly moving moment in the US, I’m proud to lead this first-annual gathering of some of the best and brightest minds in America,” says Danielle Belton, Editor-in-Chief at The Root. “Given the socio-economic climate, there’s never been a more important time to step back and take a deep dive into these issues, and it is my hope that The Root Institute, an annual event, will become one of the leading gatherings dissecting these matters.” Belton continues, “The Root is excited to host this collection of solutions-based conversations, discussing what the agenda for Black America should look like in 2020 and beyond.”

Launching Tuesday, August 4th, and continuing each Tuesday and Thursday through the month of August, The Root Institute will host a productive space for top leaders, thinkers, and experts to discuss a weekly theme affecting Black Americans: Politics, Entertainment, Health and Wealth, and Social Impact. Discussions this year, pre-recorded for top quality video, will feature leading names such as Stacey Abrams, American politician, Aloe Blacc, musician, Ava DuVernay, director, Lee Daniels, director, and Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, plus many more inspiring names, to provide their expert opinions, backgrounds, and recommendations on how to move the black agenda forward, with a look towards tangible solutions.

All content from The Root Institute will live a special vertical on The Root, and attendees are encouraged to sign up for updates when new material is added. For the full schedule, lineup, and link to RSVP, please click here.

The Root Institute, 2020 Lineup: August 4th – 27th

Week 1: Politics – With an eye towards the 2020 election in November, we will discuss COVID-19’s impact on the electorate, issues around voter suppression and voting rights and other matters with panelists including Stacey Abrams, American Politician, and Ayanna Pressley, Congressional representative.

Week 2: Entertainment – Looking at how art can influence culture, we will discuss the intersection of activism and imagery and how TV, film and other mediums can change our world, with panelists including musician Aloe Blacc, Empire producer, Lee Daniels, and Ava DuVernay, writer, filmmaker and director.

Week 3: Health and Wealth – Taking a specific look at health disparities in the United States, these conversations will feature heavily on issues around COVID-19, mortality rate among birthing mothers, mental health and other issues with panelists including David Johns, activist, and Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood for America.

Week 4: Social Impact – With an eye towards the future, these activists, thought leaders and organizers will break down how we can become the change we’re looking for within our communities, with panelists including Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, Darnell Moore, author, and Chelsea Fuller, media specialist and organizer.

About The Root
At 12-years-old, The Root is the leading African American news source in America, reaching more than 10 million visitors per month with editorial featuring biting commentary, opinion, breaking news and culture content. Co-founded in 2008 by preeminent scholar Henry Louis Gates, The Root seeks to uplift conversations that often go unheard outside of our communities.

About G/O Media
G/O Media reaches more than a third of all Americans online each month with over 100 million unique visitors, including its extended network. This collection of digital-first brands serves a young, diverse audience with content that reflects their shared values and passions, including category-leading sites focused on tech and science (Gizmodo); pop culture and entertainment (The A.V. Club); sports news (Deadspin); car culture (Jalopnik); modern women’s interests (Jezebel); gaming  (Kotaku); lifestyle (Lifehacker); food and drink (The Takeout); African American news and culture (The Root); humor and satire news (The Onion); and e-commerce (The Inventory).


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