Moderated by PBS Newshour’s Gwen Ifill, town hall meeting will explore the complex issues surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri
ARLINGTON, VA., — PBS recently announced that Gwen Ifill, PBS Newshour co-anchor and managing editor, and moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, will moderate American After Ferguson, a town hall meeting that will explore the many issues that have been brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. The program, produced by WGBH Boston in partnership with the Nine Network/KETC in St. Louis and WETA in Washington D.C., will air Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, 8 -9 p.m. on PBS.
While the facts of the case are still in dispute, for many the story of Ferguson has become a symbol of the larger social divides in America, exposing a persistent disconnect along lines of race, class and identity. Through conversations and special reports, American After Ferguson will explore these complex questions raised by the events in Ferguson.
American After Ferguson will be taped before an audience on Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Intended for audiences in communities across the country, American After Ferguson will include national leaders in the areas of law enforcement, race and civil rights, as well as government officials, faith leaders and youth.
“The upheaval in Ferguson stirred up an all too familiar stew of debate over race, justice and citizenship,” Ifill said. “It’s a discussion fueled by community outrage and resentment on all sides, but it is one that shouldn’t end. Our town hall conversation will shed light rather than heat on the topic, as we seek out the voices interested in digging deeper.”
“In light of the ongoing events in Ferguson, we wanted to help convene a conversation to delve deeper into these complex cultural questions,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “By bringing together PBS’ trusted brand of news and public affairs analysis with the local expertise of our St. Louis PBS member station KETC, we will deliver a compelling and informative program that helps move these important conversations forward.”
“This can be a town hall where a civil dialogue happens not only in the auditorium and over the air, but also through social media” said Marie Nelson, WGBH executive producer for the program. “It’s a chance for a wide range of voices and ideas to be heard in a truly national discourse.”
As a multi-platform initiative, America After Ferguson will also deliver content and conversation through a robust digital presence and social media discussion. To continue the dialogue after the town hall, visit pbs.org/afterferguson and follow #AfterFerguson.