Prominent News Leaders Discuss Racism in Mainstream Media

Bringing Faith and Policy Together

G20 Interfaith Forum

Systemic racism in the media against Black people, Indigenous People, and People of Color (BIPOC communities) will be discussed at an upcoming webinar.

A different way of relating to all human beings, grounded on a new paradigm that affirms the dignity of all humans in solidarity, is urgently needed for a better world.”
— Dr. Ganoune Diop
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA, January 13, 2022 / -- The Anti-Racism Initiative of the G20 Interfaith Forum, the world’s leading organization focused on the intersection of faith and policy, is gathering experts from the media, academia, and religion to discuss systemic racism in the media against Black people, Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC communities) at an upcoming webinar.

Dr. Ganoune Diop, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, said the issue is a critical one:

“One of the greatest challenges of our time is the revisiting of what it means to be human and humane. How we view and speak of others can contribute to life, saving lives and healing. The perpetuation of the myth of racial hierarchy and the use of narratives and visuals to demean black people, indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC) have been indulged in or deliberately promoted in media outlets. A different way of relating to all human beings grounded on a new paradigm that affirms the dignity of all humans in solidarity, is urgently needed for a better world. Exploring pathways to a decent way of being human will be the focus of this webinar.”

Keisha Bush, author of “No Heaven For Good Boys,” echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the need for lasting change in media portrayals:

"American media has been, and still is, a vehicle of sociopolitical propaganda, reinforcing stereotypes and the demonization of activism, equity, and inclusion at every level of our society. Due to the current collective energies for equity, once again, the pressure to move the needle is building, but to have genuine lasting change there needs to be a complete dismantling of the current supremacist structures to see real diversity, equity, and inclusion across the media."

Milton Allimadi, publisher of, connected current racism in the media to historical colonialism:

"Historically, and globally, non-European people were demonized in order to justify their exploitation and sanitize abuses against them during conquest. The worst manifestations were slavery and colonialism. In our contemporary era, White supremacy is an ideology that denies the humanity of non-Europeans, and tries to curtail their access to the resources they need to exist or to live fulfilling lives. It's important to understand how demonization originated in media in order to tackle our contemporary challenges and chart a better future."

Both Nisrin Elamin, a professor at Bryn Mawr College, and Ben Dotsei Malor, Chief Editor at UN News, pointed to media portrayals of Africa as ready examples of this racism:

“Racism in the mainstream media manifests itself in a variety of ways, and is perhaps best exemplified by its coverage of Africa,” Elamin said. “Coverage of the continent is characterized by systematic under-reporting, stereotypical, one-dimensional portrayals of African life, a lack of nuanced and historically grounded analyses of African issues and a construction of expertise that justifies foreign intervention and undermines the sovereignty, knowledge and agency of African analysts and communities. This shapes not only US public opinion and policy-making, but has broad-reaching implications for how knowledge about Africa is reproduced.”

“Recently, scientists in Botswana and South Africa, through diligent, admirable, and excellent work, managed to identify the omicron variant of the coronavirus, and within hours Western media made it look as if this would be classified as the ‘African variant’. Within hours, instead of hailing and applauding these scientist for being vigilant, open, and transparent, travel bans were imposed on South Africa and eight other Southern African nations,” Malor said. “A similar thing happened with the 2014 Ebola outbreak in three West African nations, with Western media coverage causing tourists to avoid Kenya and South Africa, thousands of miles away – with no cases of ebola. There is still, in many Western media circles, a tendency (of laziness and lack of common humanity) to lump the continent of Africa together as ‘one country’. The distinctions among the continent’s 54 nations need to be clearly stated in any media coverage of the continent in order to avoid the economic costs of such reportage.”

The virtual meeting will take place on Jan 20, 2022 at 2 pm EST, and will aim to unweave the threads that are currently used to justify racism in the media, in addition to debunking destructive interpretations of religious texts that perpetuate racism. Register for the free webinar at

Speakers will include experts from the media, academia, and religion:
• Dr. Ganoune Diop – Director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church
• Milton Allimadi – Assistant Professor of Journalism, Columbia University; Publisher,
• Keisha Bush – Writer and Artist, Author of No Heaven for Good Boys
• Ben Dotsei Malor – Chief Editor, UN News, UN Headquarters, New York
• Nisrin Elamin – Assistant Professor of International Studies, Bryn Mawr College

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