Series on misinformation and wellness of democracy resumes Feb. 21

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas collaborative series that centers misinformation, disinformation and the wellness of democracy continues in spring 2024.

“Historical Fact, Whiteness, and the Challenge to preserve Our Democracy” will be the topic of discussion at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 via Zoom.

According to a recent study from the Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis at the University of Oklahoma, there is bipartisan support for the understanding that “disinformation poses significant risks and causes harms to several groups.”

At the heart of the Wellness in Our Democracy series lies a need to be able to understand the differences between fact and fiction, in part because of the potential for dangerous behavior and thinking, which disproportionately affects vulnerable communities, a finding which is at the center of a recent initiative launched by the MacArthur Foundation.

Noting media coverage of statements that call into question the racialized history of this country, this event will examine the historical roots of race being used to divide and discriminate, including those found in the U.S. Constitution and through consequential historical events.

The featured speakers are David Roediger, Foundation Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies, and Shawn Alexander, professor of African & African-American studies and director of the Langston Hughes Center. They will be hosted in conversation with Patricia Weems Gaston, Lacy C. Haynes Professor of Journalism; Najarian Peters, associate professor of law and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and Emily Ryan, director of The Commons.

The group will discuss research that addresses the history and founding of the United States, including ways in which racial identity has been used to differentiate groups.

Now entering its fourth semester, the Wellness in our Democracy series has examined the roots of misinformation and disinformation campaigns in the United States, many of which author and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois sought to delegitimize in the early 1900s. It also explored the extension of the misinformation campaigns’ legacy into areas such as race, climate, gender identity and the role of local journalism in helping to prevent misinformation.

The Wellness in our Democracy series is led by Peters, Weems Gaston and Ryan. Events in this series are supported and presented by The Commons, the schools of Journalism & Mass Communications and Law, and the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging.

 To attend, register on Zoom.

Mon, 02/19/2024


Emily Ryan

Media Contacts

Emily Ryan

The Commons