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

Shanelle Matthews

Communications Director | Movement For Black Lives
Pronouns: she/her

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

How Cops Get Off

How Cops Get Off is a three-part animated video series developed by the Advancement Project in collaboration with our board member, actor/activist Jesse Williams. Narrated by Jesse, each four-minute video in the series breaks down the systems, culture, and laws that keep cops in power and unaccountable: the dominant narrative in tv shows, movies, and news, the protectors within our criminal legal system like prosecutors and police associations, and the laws that shields cops from accountability like qualified immunity. The session will screen the short series and discuss these systems and narratives. And, we will talk about shifts we need including what real justice looks like. We will share resources for communities to have discussions about policing and abolition as well as highlight campaigns that are in progress.

Speakers: Judith Browne Dianis, Shanelle Matthews, Jennifer Dillon

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Reporting on The State of the Black Woman

Black women have strong, powerful voices, however our experiences are often shoved to the margins in favor of the ‘movement’ — but where does this leave us? Like our ancestors before us, we will break bread and deliberate on the State of the Black Woman in the United States. We will lift up our movement successes and create a plan to overcome our challenges. We will hold one another’s truths, while speaking our own. Participants will leave the room with an analysis of challenges we must overcome, a strategy for building opportunities for sisterhood across the nation, and reinvigorated to achieve the tasks ahead. The words of Black women change the world each and every day, but often they are silenced by the mainstream.

During this panel, attendees will hear from the Black women writers of Echoing Ida, a project of Forward Together that amplifies the voices of Black women, developing generations of thought leaders and skilled communicators in the social justice movement. The panelists will share their experiences using their personal stories and writing to achieve advocacy and political change. The panel will also discuss their experiences of their collective model, how to get published, partnering with organizations to elevate their work, and the benefits of the Black writer sisterhood. Participants will learn how to identify issues within their own lives and how to frame their stories, as well as have a deeper understanding of the publishing and writing world.

Speakers: Renee Bracey Sherman, Raquel Willis, Jamilah Lemieux, Chanta Parker, Kwajelyn Jackson, Shanelle Matthews