Episode 30 - How to Have the Hard Discussions: Talking About Race in a Polarized Society with Dr. David Campt and Broadway Producer Ron Simons

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Dr. David Campt and Broadway Producer Ron Simons have an open and frank discussion of race in America, the need for uncomfortable and difficult conversations, and the importance of diversity of representation - including the work needed to continue affecting change and ways the white community can educate themselves to become effective allies to the Black community. 

Dr. David Campt, 'The Race Doctor' - a national expert on inclusion, equity, cultural competence and intergroup dialogue - and four time Tony award winning Broadway Producer Ron Simons join Politics: Meet Me in the Middle for an important discussion of race in America, the work America needs to do to continue affecting change, and ways the white community can educate themselves to become effective allies to the Black community.


1:30 - They discuss their thoughts and emotions over the last few weeks - their reactions to recent events in the US and why.

4:20 - Why right now is 'The Perfect Storm' and why they’re hopeful this movement doesn’t pass.

5:27 - 'How honest of a conversation do you really want to have?' Dr. Campt explains how he works to create the conditions of ‘trying to make Thanksgiving great again’ by getting white people to be able to have these uncomfortable conversations and giving them the tools they need to do so.

7:25 - They discuss tools for how to be a good ally to the Black community.

9:24 - What every white person needs to have in order to have these important discussions.

13:30 - Diversity on broadway: how it’s still not representative of the American population, and how Ron works to change it.

15:00 - #WeSeeYou and ‘Dear White American Theater’ - the challenges and issues going on in Broadway.

15:44 - Ron writing to the The Metropolitan Opera.

17:40 - The effect of having a non-white cast in Hamilton and untraditional casting of iconic American figures. 

19:49 - The challenges of a Black man getting a grant and funding for a Broadway show, the barriers of entry to get the funds of what is needed to put on a show, and Black wealth vs white wealth.

21:00 - Why shows get labeled as ‘ too risky’ because of preconceived perceptions. 

23:00 - The issue of there being no Black theater owners (or BIPOC theater owners) in the Broadway community.

24:00 - 'Do American people want to deal with racial issues?' Dr. Campt says yes and that there’s a hunger for it and what needs to happen for the institutions to reflect the way American population really is.

26:00 - How storytelling is the most effective agent for change on the planet and how both men accomplish this to bring people together to effect change.

Learn more:

Dr. David Campt: |

Facebook: @whiteallytoolkit 

Ron Simons: |

Facebook: @SimonSaysEntertainment


Hosted by: Bill Curtis

Produced by: Mike Thomas

Theme Music: Celleste and Eric Dick