Freedom Forum Institute Announces Power Shift Summit 2.0

Power Shift Project, Power Shift Summit 2.0, Jill Geisler

Jill Geisler will again lead participants in a series of conversations at Power Shift Summit 2.0, held on Jan. 15, 2019.

On Jan. 15, 2019, the Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project will convene the Power Shift Summit 2.0 at the Newseum. The summit will gather invited leaders across journalism and the media industry to focus on #MeToo and the media one year later.

The first Power Shift Summit, held Jan. 9, 2018, gave voice to more than 130 diverse media leaders, journalists, educators, survivors and advocates in the wake of sexual misconduct scandals in the news and other industries. The summit explored the systems and silence behind the abuses and resulted in recommendations and a call for action for meaningful and sustainable culture change.

A year after the first Power Shift Summit, it’s time for those voices — and more — to be heard again.

Power Shift Summit 2.0 will engage participants in a series of conversations about what’s changed and what hasn’t over the past year, promising practices and strategies, who are the leaders on the vanguard of change and where are the untold and overlooked stories about sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond.

The summit will feature news industry leaders at the forefront of advocating and creating change, as well as journalists who have covered sexual misconduct stories across the country. Reporters will join with diverse experts and advocates for a session on tips and topics for coverage and identifying overlooked and under-covered stories in the workplace and beyond.

The summit will include a conversation with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic and Commissioner Chai Feldblum, co-chairs of the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. They will discuss the latest EEOC data on sexual harassment, as well as the role of leadership, accountability, training and organizational culture change in preventing and stopping harassment.

Jill Geisler, Freedom Forum Institute Fellow in Women’s Leadership and Loyola University Chicago’s Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity, will again lead participants in a series of conversations intended to encourage a wide diversity of voices and views. She will be joined by Power Shift advisory board members Sarah Glover, president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and Elisa Lees Munoz, executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF).

More details about conversation leaders and topics for the upcoming summit will be announced in the coming weeks.

Discussion at 2018’s Power Shift Summit focused on newsroom culture that protects the powerful, lacks diversity and discourages open conversation about the factors that play a major role in sexual misconduct, including the links between sexual misconduct and discrimination, as well as the intersections among gender, race and ethnicity, age and power.

The discussions were summarized in the Power Shift Summit Report, which identified seven key Power Shift Principles, or lessons learned about workplace imbalances that are used to protect the powerful and intimidate and silence others, especially young women. The report also identified steps to repair systemic failures that have allowed sexual misconduct and discrimination to thrive, along with tactics to create sustainable change.

As a result of the summit, the Power Shift Project was launched as an industry-wide response to concerns about sexual misconduct in media organizations and a catalyst for change to create safer, more equal and diverse newsrooms. The project provides custom training, education and resources while also raising public awareness and support for building workplace cultures that support diversity, inclusion and equality.

The Power Shift Project’s new “Workplace Integrity” training curriculum was designed by Jill Geisler. The curriculum is built around the three pillars of critical thinking, courageous conversations and creating cultures of respect and trust. The overall goal is workplace integrity — defined as environments free of harassment, discrimination and incivility, but filled with opportunity, especially for those who have historically been under-represented in media’s most powerful roles.

The Power Shift Project draws on an advisory board representing a wide group of media organizations, diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, along with experts on legal and other issues.

Because of space limitations, the summit is invitational, but media industry leaders and educators interested in attending may contact powershiftproject@freedomforum.org for more information. The 2019 summit will be livestreamed on newseum.org/live. Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #PowerShiftSummit.

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