Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Megan Black

Program Director | Western States Center
Pronouns: She/Her

Megan Black is a Midwest-based organizer and trainer committed to race equity, inclusive democracy, and the common good. Since 2010 Megan has worked with organizations like Interfaith Youth Core, Faith in Action, and Western States Center to navigate the spaces and tensions created by divisions in race, religion, and politics, with a particular focus on antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, and Christian dominance. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Divinity Degree from Vanderbilt University. Megan directs the Common Good program at Western States Center from her home in Kansas City, MO.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Panel and Workshop: Building Inclusive Democracy with Artists and Musicians

From the global pandemic to racist police violence to wealth inequality and the consequences of climate change, the struggle for an inclusive democracy is in danger. The work of building inclusive democracy requires the efforts of artists and musicians as much as it needs organizers, teachers, and community and local government leaders. Art and culture-makers have always been uniquely able to bridge divides, applying their creative skill to the hopes and fears that animate and unite us, using their spotlight to hold power accountable, and inviting fans and consumers of their work into new spaces that foster inclusion and belonging.

For the past two years, Western States Center has been actively engaging with the question of what happens when we bring together diverse cohorts of artists and musicians to break isolation and discuss some of the most relevant issues of our time: racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, white nationalism, and authoritarian threats to democracy. This Facing Race panel discussion brings together a few of the voices from those cohorts: artists and musicians who have embraced the work of inclusive democracy in their art, fan and industry engagement. Workshop participants will join a conversation with these culture change-makers, including singer/songwriters from our Inclusive Democracy Culture Lab, about the power and relevance of art and music in justice and anti-bigotry movements today, the challenges they face, and the critical roles for artists and musicians in the coming days.


Speakers: Megan Black, Jess George