Race & Media: How Inclusive Are Our Newsrooms?



Kenneth J. Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and a senior news editor at WGBH, a public radio station in Boston. Cooper shared a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting series on “The Race Factor,” which examined institutional racism in Boston. His areas of expertise include government, politics, and social policy. He has worked for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and St. Louis American. While at The Washington Post, he was their correspondent for South Asia, reporting on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Cooper is the co-author of “portraits of Leadership”, a book that portrays and profiles 127 individuals who have worked on social change in the Boston area since 1980, mostly African-American but also allies of every race and ethnicity.

MODERATOR -- Faye D’Souza @fayeDSouza is an Indian journalist and former executive editor with Mirror Now, owned by the Times Group. In her journalistic milestones, Faye has reported on a range of subjects from government accountability, responsible taxation, safety of women and children to health and urban development, leading to policy changes. She is the recipient of the RedInk Award in 2018 and branched out as an independent journalist in late 2019. As a media entrepreneur she started her own news program on social media and has grown in recognition of her work as a digital journalist during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. She has over a million followers on Instagram and is a prominent digital journalist in the country. Faye is also a well-known speaker and has appeared on TEDx, and both Indian and International engagements. Learn more on YouTube and Instagram.

Yashica Dutt @yashicadutt (Interlocutor) is an Indian writer and journalist who has written on a broad range of topics including gender, identity, culture, and caste. She was previously working as a Principal Correspondent with Brunch, the Sunday magazine of Hindustan Times in New Delhi. She also worked with The Asian Age. As a freelance journalist, Yashica has worked with Hindustan Times, LiveMint, Scroll.in, The Wire and HuffPost India. Yashica writes on Dalit related social issues and is the founder of dalitdiscrimination.tumblr.com, a Tumblr blog portal. “Coming Out as Dalit” is Yashica's book published by Aleph Book Company. It is her memoir about growing up in a Dalit family. In the book, she describes how she felt compelled to hide her caste and pretended to be of another caste, all along terrified of her true identity being found out. The book details her journey of coming to terms with her true identity. The book is a social commentary woven with personal experiences. She received the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for the book in the English category for the year 2020.

Chandra Bhan Prasad @cbhanp (Interlocutor) is widely regarded as the most important Dalit thinker and political commentator in India today, advocating on behalf of the more than sixteen percent of India's population who have historically been regarded as untouchable by orthodox Hinduism. Mr. Prasad is a research affiliate on CASI's Dalit research program and serves as a key advisor to the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI). He was the first Dalit to gain a regular space in a nationally circulating Indian newspaper, more than fifty years after India's independence, quickly attracting national attention and widespread readership. His weekly Dalit Diary has been a regular feature of the Delhi-based English language newspaper The Pioneer since 1999 and is routinely translated into numerous other major Indian languages. His articles and books are used by South Asia faculty in universities throughout the world to question longstanding assumptions about caste and Indian society. Prasad studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, where he completed his M.A. and M.Phil.