Log in
Log in




June 30, 2020

Nearly sixty years after the March on Washington, African Americans are still struggling for economic equality and equal protection under the law. 

Join us for the ClassACT Social Justice and Racism Forum. A distinguished panel  including Rep. Karen Bass, current Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; award-winning broadcast journalist and author Soledad O'Brien; JusticeAid founder Stephen Milliken '73; and veteran black journalist Sylvester Monroe '73 discuss how the nation can reform its police departments and whether what's broken with race and social justice in America can ever be fixed.


We have created 10 videos from this forum--one of the whole event, and 9 others, divided by topic. They are all available by clicking on the image of the YouTube video screen below. Then, you can either click "play all" on the left side of your screen and the videos will play in succession, or pick and choose which videos you want to watch, all of which are listed on the right.




Congressmember Karen Bass was re-elected to her fifth term representing the 37th Congressional District in November 2018. Congressmember Bass serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and the House Judiciary Committee as Chair of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Congressmember Bass also serves as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Prior to serving in Congress, Congressmember Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role. Congressmember Bass served as Speaker during California’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. In addition to helping to navigate the state through a very difficult time, she also championed efforts to improve foster care and quality healthcare for Californians. For her leadership during the worst recession California had faced since the Great Depression, she, along with the three legislative leaders that she worked alongside, were awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2010. 

Before serving as an elected official, while working as a Physician Assistant and as a clinical instructor at the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, Congressmember Bass convened local community organizers and founded Community Coalition (CoCo), an organization with a mission to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy. 

Congressmember Bass grew up with three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles and is the only daughter of DeWitt and Wilhelmina Bass. She graduated from Hamilton High School, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.


  • Educate yourself, educate others, and take responsibility for the environment you're a part of.



Soledad O'Brien is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist who anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.”

O’Brien, founder and CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, also reports for HBO Real Sports, the PBS NewsHour, WebMD and has authored two books. She has appeared on networks, Fox and Oxygen and anchored and reported for NBC, MSNBC and CNN. She has won numerous awards, including three Emmys, the George Peabody award, an Alfred I DuPont prize and the Gracie. Newsweek Magazine named her one of the “15 People Who Make America Great.” With her husband, she is founder of the PowHERful  Foundation that helps young women get to and through college.


  • For anyone who's scared, or frustrated, or angry--opt-in. Like my parents, who were persecuted for being in an interracial marriage, we know America can be better. Opt-in and find out what you can do.



Sylvester Monroe '73 served as an Assistant Foreign Editor at The Washington Post in charge of reporting from Europe and South Asia from 2014 to December 2017. During his storied career, Monroe has had a variety of important assignments with Newsweek, TIME, The San Jose Mercury News, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ebony. He is currently working on a book about the black men in Harvard’s 1973 graduating class.

Monroe graduated from Harvard University, cum laude with a B.A. in social studies in 1973. He then started as a full-time correspondent in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, where he covered the Kenneth Edelin abortion trial and school desegregation in South Boston. He served as Newsweek’s Chicago correspondent and from 1976 to 1978, as Deputy Bureau Chief from 1978 to 1983 and as Boston Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1985, when he joined Newsweek’s Washington bureau.

Monroe won several awards for his reporting on such stories as “Why Johnny Can’t Write”, “American Innovation”, and the three part series “Why Public Schools are Flunking”. Monroe covered Harold Washington’s successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s bid for the U.S. presidency in 1984. In 1987, Newsweek featured a cover story about Monroe’s return to Chicago’s housing projects to follow up on eleven of his childhood friends. The story, “Brothers” co-authored with Newsweek senior editor, Peter Goldman, developed into a best selling book, Brothers: Black and Poor—A True Story of Courage and Survival.

Monroe joined TIME Magazine in 1989 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. There, he worked as a principal reporter for post riot coverage of the Rodney King trial, as well as on the 1993 cover story, “Is L.A. Going to Hell?” and a 1994 feature about Minister Louis Farrakhan. Monroe became deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News in 2001, but later that year joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National /Foreign Desk. In 2006, Monroe joined the staff of Ebony Magazine as Senior Editor, where he was political editor and covered Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Since leaving Ebony in 2009, he has worked as a freelance editor and writer for several publications including The Root.comand The Monroe has been a contract editor and writer on the Corporate Citizenship Team at Oracle Corp. and Oracle Education Foundation.

A long time member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe served on the board of St. Georges Preparatory School and is a frequently sought after as a public speaker.


  • Put pressure on schools to teach real Black history.



After 22 years as a Judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and 20 years teaching at Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop, Steve Milliken '73 is presently Chief Executive Officer and Founder of JusticeAid, an organization dedicated to using the arts to promote civil rights. Prior to serving as a judge, Steve was founding partner of Milliken, VanSusteren & Canan. A graduate of Harvard (BA '73), Antioch (JD '78) and Georgetown (LLM '83), Steve began his law career as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U. S. Department of Justice under the Attorney General's Hiring Program for Honor Law Graduates. JusticeAid’s 2020 theme is Voter Suppression & Voter Rights. JusticeAid is a sustained collaboration of ClassACT. Learn more here.


  • We need to come out more often, in more numbers, and for longer periods of time.
  • What are the best ways that white individuals can raise the issues of systematic racism with their friends? Talk to everyone--family, friends. Call out racist remarks at the Thanksgiving table. When you see something, say something!


    • Educate yourself about systemic racism.
    • Help others register and exercise their constitutional right to vote.
    • Donate.

      ClassACT HR ‘73

      Copyright ©ClassACT  |  Privacy Policy
      Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software