DNC 2016 Diary: Progressives ponder paths to political influence


“[P]rogressive people of color and progressive whites comprise the mathematical majority of eligible voters in America: a New American Majority. Our newfound power elected and re-elected a Black president, but there is so much more that is possible, and so much more that is necessary. Texas, for example, seen as the reddest of red states, has 4 million eligible,non-voting, people of color. Nationally, 26 million eligible people of color did not vote in 2012. And nearly 8 million more eligible people of color have been added to that number over the past 4 years.”

That’s part of a manifesto by Steve Phillips, co-founder of Democracy in Color, an advocacy group hoping to get progressive activists integrally involved in the electoral process. Phillips’ argument echoes the one made by civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin 50 years ago, in his essay, “From Protest to Politics:”

“The future of the Negro struggle depends on whether the contradictions of this society can be resolved by a coalition of progressive forces which becomes the effective political majority in the United States. I speak of the coalition which staged the March on Washington, passed the Civil Rights Act, and laid the basis for the Johnson landslide—Negroes, trade unionists, liberals, and religious groups.”

To help mobilize activists,  Democracy in Color sponsored two sessions at the Democratic Convention. Video of both sessions follow.

“Women of Color, Uniting the Party, Leading the Country.”

And later in the day, Inclusv, a firm specializing in helping political campaigns and organizations find candidates of color, co-sponsored a panel that included Bernard Coleman III, Chief Diversity and Human Resources Officer at Hillary for America.

Whatever the outcome of the current election cycle, these organizers are dedicated to ensuring that there is a cadre of politically savvy progressives in a position to wield power in the long term.

Posted in Journalism.


My professional background is in public information, magazine journalism, blogging and journalism education. My current research is founded on the premise that democracy requires the broad participation of a computationally fluent citizenry. Civic media industries must reflect the communities they serve at the level of ownership, research and development, news gathering, presentation and community engagement. This adds greater urgency to the already critical need to broaden participation in computing. To that end, I have collaborated on curricular models for infusing computing into journalism education at both the scholastic and collegiate levels, and for promoting civic engagement in computer science education. My current interest is in exploring the potential of stochastic networks and as enhancement to social computing tools for broadening civic participation.
While most of this blog is devoted to my research in computational journalism and trends in journalism education, I occasionally do some storytelling of my own. This blog picks up where my other blogs, Professor Kim’s News Notes (http://professorkim.blogspot.com) and The Nancybelle Project (http://kimpearson.net/nancybelle.html) left off.

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