ABC Owned Television Stations has partnered with Participant Media to produce the special “Our America: A Year of Activism,” which will stream beginning May 25 and feature three roundtable discussions of activism following the murder a year ago of George Floyd.
Prominent artists, activists and journalists featured in the discussions include Fred Hampton Jr., filmmaker Steve James, Ai-jen Poo, April Reign, ESPN senior writer Jesse Washington, Jimmie Briggs, Fredrika Newton, Marshall Hatch Jr., Steve James, Dr. Shamell Bell and Xaiver Brown.
ABC stations race and culture journalists Will Jones, TaRhonda Thomas and Julian Glover will moderating the panel discussions. Topics of the panels center on intergenerational activism, multiracial solidarity and media framing of racial justice issues, respectively.
“Our America: A Year of Activism” will stream on news apps for ABC stations ABC7/WABC-TV New York, ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles , ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago, 6ABC/WPVI-TV Philadelphia, ABC7/KGO-TV San Francisco, ABC13/KTRK-TV Houston, ABC11/WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and ABC30/KFSN-TV Fresno.
The panel discussion is executive produced by ABC Owned Television Stations’ race and culture content executive producers Nzinga Blake, Porsha Grant and Mariel Myers.
“Collaborating with Participant Media on this panel discussion was definitely a passion project, and we are so honored to have been able to get the support and expertise of our panelists, who are respected social impact thought leaders,” Blake said. “The panel discussions encourage our audiences to engage in ongoing honest conversations about where we are as a society, and it’s imperative that we as storytellers and journalists have solutions-oriented conversations that can hopefully encourage understanding and empathy to build a more equitable world for all.”
As Variety wrote in March, the ABC stations’ new race and culture content team has launched an expansion in coverage of underrepresented communities. The new initiative launched with the docuseries “Our America: Living While Black,” and has since staffed up to expand its output with several more specials, such as “Our America: Hidden Stories,” timed to Black History Month, and “Our America: Women Forward” for Women’s History Month.
Under the oversight of ABC Owned TV Stations’ Maxine Crooks, vice president of talent development, and Jennifer Mitchell, senior VP of content development, the race and culture content team recruited a group of executive producers, as well as journalists at all eight of ABC’s stations, to both handle the new specials but also assist in making sure that the local outlets’ live news programming properly reflects the diversity of their audiences.