What It Means to Be American
A National Conversation

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Los Angeles | Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Can Television Bring America Together?

Creative abstract television broadcasting, news media, business, entertainment and cinema concept: wall of old wooden black and white TV screens with various broadcast channels

Moderated by John Bowman, Emmy Award-winning writer and creator of Martin

We the people of the United States of America are one nation divided—not just by politics and geography but also by targeted marketing and a thousand cable channels. Today, the notion of TV as a shared experience is dying, and there are very few attempts to make shows that appeal to more than one audience at a time. But does it have to be this way? Within the entertainment industry, a few players are talking about creating entertainment that builds bridges, via story lines and marketing, between different demographics and audiences: black and white, rural and urban, red state and blue. What strategies are they using to remake TV into a medium that unites the country? Humorist, TV writer, and former executive producer of Modern Family Dan O’Shannon, Jane the Virgin showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, and Gloria Calderon Kellett, co-showrunner and executive producer of Netflix’s One Day at a Time, discuss how TV might help us all get along.
*Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

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*Image: I Will Do My Best, Norman Rockwell, 1945. Courtesy of the National Scouting Museum, Boy Scouts of America. Copyright Brown & Bigelow.

Houston , TX | May 2, 2017

Do We Still Know How to Be Good Citizens?

Americans talk a lot about the importance of good citizenship. But what does it mean to be a good citizen? By many measures, we may be falling short. American voter turnout is …