Who is Essential? Race, Culture, and Identity in American Democracy

Presented In partnership with The CT Mirror

John Dankosky invites Khalilah Brown-Dean, Political Science Professor at Quinnipiac University, and others to reflect on identity politics at this disorienting time when a new identity has emerged in our society: “essential.” What has changed in the current conversation about identity? What’s stayed the same, and what are the implications for the struggle for power in 2020?

John Dankosky

Well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator John Dankosky recently joined CT Mirror part-time to head up our new “Steady Habits” Podcast and Speakers Series. He is also working on a national project for public media on the 2020 election. Previously John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show. As an instructor, he has held a chair in journalism and communications at Central Connecticut State University and been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. He is also a regular moderator for political debates and moderated conversations at The Connecticut Forum , the Mark Twain House and Museum, The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, The World Affairs Council of Connecticut and The Litchfield Jazz Festival.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an Award-Winning Scholar, Accomplished Author, and Visionary Community Leader. A tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University and former Faculty Co-Coordinator of the Health Policy and Advocacy concentration in the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine, her work is published in numerous scholarly and public outlets such as The New York Times, Politics, Groups, and Identities, the National Political Science Review, PS: Political Science and Politics, and The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Dr. Brown-Dean is co-author of “Fifty Years of the Voting Rights Act: The State of Race in Politics” for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and a contributing researcher for the Urban League of Southern Connecticut’s “State of Urban Connecticut” project. With a keen eye toward the practical implications of democratic conflict, Dr. Brown-Dean is a preeminent expert on issues of criminal punishment, mass incarceration, voting rights, and U.S. elections. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and the Prosperity Foundation.