POSTPONED: Panel Event: The Role of the Media in Democracy Now

Charles M. Blow

Charles M. Blow

Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale, where he taught a seminar on media and politics. Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.” Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society for News Design for The Times’ information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage. He also led the paper to its first two best of show awards from the Malofiej Infographics World Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war. He then went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News. He graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications, and he holds an honorary doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He lives in Brooklyn and has three children.

Bill (William) Kristol

Bill (William) Kristol

For three decades, William Kristol has been a leading participant in American political debates and a widely respected analyst of American political developments. Having served in senior positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, Kristol understands government from the inside; as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, he has studied American politics and society from the outside. After serving in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, Kristol founded the Weekly Standard in 1995 and edited the influential magazine for over two decades.

Now, as founding director of Defending Democracy Together, an organization dedicated to defending America’s liberal democratic norms, principles, and institutions, Kristol is in the midst of the national debate on issues ranging from American foreign policy to the future of the Republican Party and the meaning of American conservatism.

Kristol frequently appears on all the major television talk shows, and also is the host of the highly regarded video series and podcast, Conversations with Bill Kristol. Kristol received his undergraduate degree and his Ph. D. from Harvard University.


Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazine “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” where she provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC—focusing on the White House and Congress—and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure, she has covered six presidential elections—from 1992 to 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR’s White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondent Association’s Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989 to 1992, Liasson was NPR’s congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989, she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in economics and business journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California public radio nightly news program, as well as a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in American history.


Juan Williams

Juan Williams

Juan Williams delivers the news every day as a television host and top political columnist. His books rise to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. The reason for that success is his unflinching dedication to giving people the information they need to make the best political decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. As co-host of Fox’s The Five and a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace as well as Special Report with Bret Baier, Williams stands out for challenging Fox’s conservative voices, and bringing balance to important conversations on the nation’s top-rated cable network. His column for the Hill recently won Best Washington Weekly column award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington chapter. He’s also the author of seven best-selling books, and an Emmy-winning TV documentary writer.

Widely regarded as one of America’s top speakers, Williams has a talent for motivating and inspiring audiences. He does this with his exceptional storytelling and deep knowledge of politics, the media, civil rights, and American history.

With the release of his latest book, What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights, Williams once again adds to his stellar reputation as a civil rights historian. In this book, he sounds the alarm over President Trump’s efforts to trip up the tremendous racial progress made by historic figures from Dr. King through President Obama.

The new book follows Williams’s multiple best-sellers, including Eyes on the Prize; We the People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers’ Vision of America; Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary; Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It: This Far by Faith; Stories from the African American Religious Experience; and Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate.


Soledad O’Brien

Mara Liasson

Through the power of storytelling, Soledad O’Brien brings a fresh perspective on diverse and contemporary issues to foster change in your own community or organization.

As the host of the Sunday morning syndicated political show, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, Soledad has established herself as one of the most recognized names in broadcasting by telling the stories behind the most important issues, people and events of the day. A champion of diversity, she gives voice to the underserved and disenfranchised through her Emmy-winning reporting and acclaimed documentary series, Black in America and Latino in America. While also the contributing editor, reporting in-depth news magazine pieces for PBS NewsHour and correspondent for HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. A prominent philanthropist, Soledad is the founder of PowHERful, a foundation that mentors and funds college tuition and expenses for young women.

With eloquence and a measured ability to make often-divisive issues such as race relations, social inequality and mass incarceration accessible to all, she moves audiences to delve deeper into the headlines that shape our lives, outlooks and daily interactions.

On stage, Soledad draws from her life and career to stimulate thoughtful conversation on the roles we each play within our communities and organizations, leaving audiences with memorable takeaways on the power of individuals and companies to make meaningful and lasting change.

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