Center on Race and Social Problems tackles 2020 election

Politics, election and voting experts discussed the upcoming 2020 presidential election and longstanding issues with the U.S. voting system in a webinar series hosted by the Center on Race and Social Problems.

Speakers at the CRSP Fall Institute: Race, Politics, and Fighting Voter Suppression on Oct. 20 explored and explained the complexities of the politics surrounding the U.S. election and voting systems and how they intersect with structural racism. United Way of Southwestern PA sponsored the event.

“This may be the most important institute we’ve ever done,” James Huguley, the interim director of CRSP, said in his opening remarks. “There’s no political agenda that we would advance here, rather, more fundamentally we want to show you and make sure you understand how to vote, and help your neighbors know how to vote.”

The discussions were simulcast on Facebook. The center also provided additional supplementary material to go with the conversations. Below are the three sessions from Oct. 20.

“Historical Lynchings and the Black Vote Today” with Jhacova Williams, an associate economist with the RAND Corporation

Williams took a deep dive into the U.S.’s history of African-American lynchings and how they’ve had a lasting impact on voting habits in certain communities.


“Race, Voting, and the Major Political Parties” with Clare Malone, senior political writer,

Malone spoke about the state of U.S. politics and the effects of current political rhetoric on voters.


“Expert Panel: Protecting and Engaging Voters in the 2020 Election” with Bhavini Patel, CEO of Beam Data; Gena Gunn McClendon, director of the voter access and engagement and the financial capability and asset building initiatives at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis; and Ron Bandes, an election security expert and board member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh

These speakers discussed election security and the stakes of the outcome of the election.

For additional voting information, visit the CRSP’s Facebook site.

— Donovan Harrell


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