Past Program

Oct 16, 1999

Race and Ethnicity: Social Change through Public Awareness


Ethnic and racial diversity exists in virtually every society, and, within these societies, there are minority groups that suffer discrimination. In some countries, legal barriers are erected to prevent equality; in others, a democratic system can often mask social and cultural barriers that exclude minority groups from many of the benefits a society may have to offer. One way to help overcome these barriers is to heighten public awareness and understanding of racial and ethnic minorities through mass communication, such as advertising, print or electronic media, the internet, and through the arts, including film, theater, music.


Acknowledging the pervasive influence and the transformative potential of the media and the arts at all levels of modern society, this session will explore strategies for increasing public consciousness of and sensitivity to minority issues in societies around the world, and ways in which this heightened awareness can effect positive change both in terms of social attitudes and public policy. The session will seek to provide practical advice to individuals involved in advancing racial and ethnic understanding at the local, national, and regional level.