What Racism Means to Me

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The debate over racism has shifted dramatically. What are the prospects for lasting change?

Nationwide protests against racism, police violence and racial inequality have shaken the nation to its core. Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement and anger over police treatment of African-Americans grew dramatically in recent weeks.

Outrage over the graphic deaths of George Floyd and other Black men and women changed the debate over racism. We look at the prospects for lasting change and whether we can find common ground in response to recent events.

Our guests are author, activist and professor Ilyasah Shabazz, and trauma care surgeon Brian Williams, MD. Professor Shabazz often speaks about the legacy of her father, Malcolm X. She promotes higher education for at-risk youth and interfaith dialogue to build bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world. Doctor Williams led the trauma team that treated police officers ambushed by a sniper in Dallas in 2016 – the largest loss of life for US law enforcement since 9/11.


Ep. 6 – What Racism Means to Me

Professor Ilyasah Shabazz

Professor Ilyasah Shabazz promotes higher education for at-risk youth, interfaith dialogue to build bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world, and she participates on international humanitarian delegations. She served as a member of the U.S. Delegation that accompanied President Bill Clinton to South Africa to commemorate election of President Nelson Mandela and the Education & Economic Development initiatives. She was a member of the U.S. Interfaith Leadership Delegation to Mali, West Africa with Malaria No More, and she received a personal letter of acknowledgement for preserving her “father’s proud legacy by working to secure equality in our time and for generations to come,” from President Barack Obama.

She is an inspirational role model and advocate for “youth” and “women and girl” empowerment. Her lifework is devoted to helping others find inner strength and purpose. While she is frequently asked to speak about the Legacy of Malcolm X, she shares that it is her mother, Dr. Betty Shabazz’s wisdom, courage and compassion that guide her.

More than six years experience as college professor; More than twenty years experience as administrator and implementer of cultural and community outreach initiatives, serving diverse populations; Key advisor to public and private organizations, developing diversity and community-focused programs that align with business, academic and organizational goals; Author, artist, mentor, educator, motivational speaker and citizen of the world, connecting and activating networks and resources to create measurably positive outcomes. Published five multiple award-winning publications with outstanding novelists, currently working on the next…

For further information, please visit IlyasahShabazz.com.

Dr. Brian Williams

Dr. Brian Williams led the trauma team that treated police officers ambushed by a sniper on July 7, 2016 – the largest loss of life for US law enforcement since 9/11. At a press conference days later, his heartfelt comments about the tragedy touched thousands, and Huffington Post named it one of the most memorable television moments of 2016.

Dr. Williams now serves is an Associate Professor of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the University of Chicago. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. After six years on active duty, he followed a different call to serve and enrolled at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. After obtaining his medical degree, he completed a general surgery residency at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, and a fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

In his remarks after the sniper attack, Dr. Williams lamented that we lack “open discussions about the impact of race relations in this country,” leading him to become an international spokesperson for racial justice.

Recognizing his many community contributions, in 2017 Mayor Rawlings appointed him as Chairman of the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board. His leadership helped unite the Dallas Police Department, community activists, police associations and City Council to revamp the role Dallas civilians play in police oversight.

In addition to his role as an academic surgeon, Dr. Williams is a renowned keynote speaker, the Vice-Chair of the One America Movement, a guest opinion writer featured in the Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News, and hosts the podcast Race, Violence & Medicine.

To learn more, Dr. Williams invites you to contact him at BrianWilliamsMD.com, Twitter, or LinkedIn.