Press Releases

Dec 06, 2018

Freedom Forum Institute Announces Power Shift Summit 2.0 Program and Conversation Leaders

Second Summit in January 2019 Keeps the Spotlight on #MeToo in Media

WASHINGTON – On Jan. 15, 2019, the Freedom Forum Institute’s Power Shift Project will convene the Power Shift Summit 2.0 at the Newseum to explore what’s changed since the first summit one year ago examined the systems and silence behind sexual misconduct scandals in media organizations.

The 2019 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, which resulted in recommendations and a call for action for meaningful and sustainable culture change.

One year later, the Power Shift Summit 2.0 will feature three major discussions that will engage participants in conversations about:

  • What’s changed and who’s leading the change with promising practices and strategies in newsrooms and media organizations?
  • Where are the untold and under-covered stories about harassment and discrimination across all industries and how do we report them?
  • The latest data and information from the co-chairs of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.

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 called “The Assignment Desk” with tips and topics for coverage and identifying overlooked and under-covered stories in the workplace and beyond.

Conversation leaders at Power Shift Summit 2.0 will include:

  • Carrie Budoff Brown, editor, Politico
  • Soraya Chemaly, author and director of Women’s Media Center Speech Project
  • Sarah Glover, president, National Association of Black Journalists
  • Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, executive editor, The Miami Herald
  • Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker
  • Loren Mayor, president of operations, NPR
  • Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director, International Women’s Media Foundation
  • Carolyn Ryan, assistant editor, The New York Times
  • Mizell Stewart III, senior director, talent, partnerships and news strategy, Gannett and the USA TODAY Network
  • Karen Testa, former Sexual Misconduct team leader, The Associated Press
  • Lauren Williams, editor-in-chief, Vox

The summit will also include a conversation with 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.

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 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.

About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.

Press Contacts

Sonya Gavankar
202/292-6625
sgavankar@freedomforum.org