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The Root Institute 2022

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Welcome to The Root Institute 2022!


This September, we will gather together some of our community’s most talented thought leaders, activists and cultural curators for a series of insightful conversations about the future of Black America. 


The Root Institute will, for the first time ever, take place in Washington, D.C. What better backdrop than our nation’s capital for the kind of thought-provoking discussions that can help shed new light on our current challenges, offer practical solutions, and provide the pathways forward we need to survive and thrive in this country. Topics will range from social justice and politics, to health and wellness, to technology and the arts.


We invite you to join us on September 13 and 14 as we amplify our voices for the betterment of all.


Panel Discussions

September 13 and September 14

The Auditorium at

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

9 am to 4 pm ET

901 G Street NW

Washington, D.C.


Cocktail Reception

September 13

Clyde’s of Gallery Place

5 pm to 7 pm ET

707 7th Street NW

Washington, D.C.


*Please note: In compliance with DC Public Library COVID guidelines,

masks are required in all public spaces of the Library,

with the exception of the Auditorium during the Root Institute*




Setting the agenda for Black America’s future


Tuesday, September 13 | Day 1 Agenda


IN CONVERSATION WITH STACEY ABRAMS

Featuring Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor of

Georgia, lawyer, non-profit founder, and producer


POLICE BRUTALITY AND DEFUNDING THE POLICE

Featuring Chance D. Lynch, Esq., national civil rights attorney,

pastor, and author of Faith Made Me Do It


MENTAL HEALTH AND THE BLACK FAMILY

Featuring Courtney B. Vance, award-winning stage and screen actor, president of

the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, and co-owner of Bassett Vance Productions, and

Dr. Robin L. Smith, psychologist, author, minister, and radio host


IMPACT OF COVID ON BLACK AMERICA Featuring Ashish K. Jha, M.D., M.P.H, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator

and Brown University’s Dean of the School of Public Health


THE FUTURE OF BLACK ECONOMIC MOBILITY

Featuring Cecilia Rouse, 30th Chair of the Council of

Economic Advisers at the White House


WHY OUR CHILDREN CAN’T THRIVE WITHOUT THE ARTS

Featuring Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer with the

American Ballet Theatre, author, activist, and producer


THE TRUTH BEHIND DIVERSITY IN TECH

Featuring Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer of Google


COCKTAIL RECEPTION

Please join us for light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres

at 5pm at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, following the completion of Day 1.

Reception tickets are limited to two-day event pass holders.

Guests must be 21+ years old to attend.


Wednesday, September 14 | Day 2 Agenda


MIDTERMS AND THE POWER OF THE BLACK VOTE

Featuring Melanie Campbell, Chair of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,

and LaTosha Brown, Co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund,

founder of Saving OurSelves Coalition, singer, and songwriter


ACTIVISM IN TRYING TIMES

Featuring Dr. David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition,

Tamika Mallory, Co-founder of Until Freedom, Co-chair of the Women’s March, author, and podcast host of Street Politicians,

and Ben Crump, acclaimed civil rights lawyer, author, and President of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association


RACE, GENDER, AND THE NFL

Featuring Jonathan Beane, Senior Vice President and

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the NFL


PROTECTING YOUR PURPOSE: A SURVIVOR’S STORY 

Featuring Sabrina Greenlee, mother of Arizona Cardinals receiver

DeAndre Hopkins, entrepreneur, author, and domestic violence survivor


CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN THE POST-GEORGE FLOYD ERA

Featuring Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney,

Darcel Clark, 13th District Attorney for Bronx County, and

Aisha N. Braveboy, State's Attorney of Prince George's County, Maryland


HOW MOVEMENTS HAVE MADE US STRONGER

Featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach,

Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, professor, pastor, and author


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