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Free WIMN event: Race, Class, Gender & Katrina: The Human Impact of Disasterous Reporting

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

February 26th, 2008

Even though the human, environmental and economic impact of Hurricane Katrina is still deeply felt throughout the regions that were ravaged by the disaster, the ongoing personal and political tolls of Katrina have fallen away from the headlines and out of public debate.

This is just one of many ways media have failed the American people their treatment of one of the worst natural disasters in the history of our country.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, as part of Women In Media & News’s lecture series , I will be delivering the following multi-media presentation at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ:

WHAT: Race, Class, Gender, and Katrina: The Human Impact of Disasterous Reporting
WHEN: 02/28/2008, 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rutgers University Student Activities Center, River Lounge, 613 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Please note: This lecture is free and open to the public. However, as there will be limited seating available in the venue, Rutgers students will be given first priority for admission.

In this critical presentation, I will document the human impact of race, class and gender bias in media coverage of Katrina:

  • From the press’s misunderstanding of poverty,
  • to coverage that framed survivors as Third World “refugees” rather than Americans in desperate need of help from their local and federal government,
  • to the contrasting portryals of African American victims as criminals and white victims as sympathtic survivors,
  • to the ways the rush to report inaccurate rumors of crime and lawlessness hundered the relief and recovery efforts and impacted public policy responses,
  • to the underreported political implications of billion-dollar no-bid rebuilding contracts given to companies like Halliburton, real estate developers’ attempts to land-grab in the affected regions while reducing housing opportunities for low income New Orleaneans, privatization of schools and more,
  • to the fact that the voices of people of color, low-income people and women most affected by the disaster were nearly invisble as op-ed writers, news analysts, commentators and policy experts in media discussions of Katrina’s economic, environmental and cultural ramifications.

There will be a Q&A session after the lecture.
Sponsored by the Rutgers University Programming Association and the Taskforce on the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Check out rupa.rutgers.edu or contact RUPAinformation@gmail.com or 732-932-5395 for more information.

For those of you in the NJ/NY area, I hope to see you there! And to those of you who are out of state, maybe I’ll see you while I’m on the road for WIMN’s women’s history month lecture tour — check out our website for a list of upcoming dates in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts and Ohio.

For those who are interested in driving to Rutgers, there’s a parking lot next to the Student Activities Center, but there’s a slight possibility of getting ticketed (however, my sources tell me that if you get ticketed by the Rutgers police but have no intention of ever registering your car with Rutgers, you can get away with not paying the ticket). For those who would rather not tempt the parking gods, there should be street parking along College Avenue.

OTHER PRESENTATIONS AVAILABLE: Also, if you are a member of a campus or community organization and would like to bring this talk to your school or group, or if you’re interested in any of WIMN’s wide variety of presentations on issues related to representations of gender, race, class and sexuality in news media and pop culture, please contact WIMN via this form, email info[at]wimnonline[dot]org, or call 347-564-5190. There are still a few dates available during Women’s History Month, and a good number of dates available in April and May, as well. Contact WIMN to schedule a media literacy presentation today!

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