Joseph Torres

Senior Director of Strategy and Engagement
Free Press
Joseph works for Free Press. He advocates in Washington to ensure that our nation’s media policies serve the public interest and works to build coalitions to broaden the movement's base. Joseph is also the co-author with Juan Gonzalez of the New York Times bestseller News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Kerner at 50 — Owning Our Stories and Our Narratives

The media system, like the criminal justice, educational, and other systems, wasn’t created to help communities of color. The mainstream media has been a primary author of a racist narrative that supports destructive policies and practices that harm our communities.

This is why it is worthy remembering the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. The Commission was appointed by President Johnson to study the causes of the racial uprisings in 1967 in cities like Newark and Detroit. But the report also documented the media’s role in contributing to our nation’s racial divisions which persists today.

Meanwhile, it is almost impossible for people of color to achieve racial justice if we are unable to tell our own stories. But people of color own few broadcast outlets and fewer cable networks due to institutional and structural racism. This is why a small group of media makers of color have worked together this past year to tell the story of race and media by reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report. During this session, we will explore in small group discussions what media makers can accomplish by working collectively to organize and tell stories that challenges systemic racism in the media. We will also discuss what media transformation looks like. And what should be the story of race and media 50 years from now?

Speakers: Joseph Torres, Brandi Collins-Dexter

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Digital Jim Crow: Hi-Tech Policing, Racism and Resistance in the 21st Century

In the 19th century, Jim Crow laws enforced racial segregation at the state and local level. By the 20th century these laws were replaced with discriminatory drug and crime policies that created a new, racially biased system of mass incarceration. From the increasing use of fusion centers to police technologies and predictive policing practices, the Internet and related digital technologies facilitate the speed, scale, and secrecy of policing -- and exacerbate racial bias. Across the country, communities of color are fighting back. Learn about the ways high-tech policing threatens racial justice, hear stories of resistance, and learn how you can protect your city from racial bias in high-tech policing.

Speakers: Malkia Cyril, Hamid Khan, Joseph Torres