Winona State University will host “What’s Race Got to Do With It?: Media Management of Minority Images” with Bryant K. Smith and WSU President Scott Olson from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Harriet Johnson Auditorium, Somsen Hall.

This program will combine social science theory, communication, historical record and present-day examples to help the audience think critically about the power of media in shaping and promoting negative images of members of minority groups. The discussion will also cover ethical boundaries, journalistic integrity and freedom of the press.

Smith travels the country as an inspirational speaker, and has presented at hundreds of national conferences, colleges, universities, and corporate events. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a board member of the Palmetto Team Youth Association, the founder of “Life Station” male development workshop and “The Remix Hip Hop Leadership Institute, and a distinguished faculty member of the “Student African-American Brotherhood.” Smith has served as an administrator and faculty member at five colleges and universities, and is an accomplished author. His newest book is entitled “For My Sons & Brothers.”

Olson is the 15th president of Winona State University. His Ph.D. is from the School of Communication at Northwestern University, and his background in communications includes serving as a professor of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and as Dean of the College of Communication, Information, and Media at Ball State University. Olson has written two books, published 30 book chapters and written 22 published journal articles across the globe in places like the United States, China, Canada, Russia and India. In 2004, he won an Emmy Award as an executive producer in a documentary about digital learning. Olson has served on 21 different international, national, and local boards, including current service on the Great River Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors, the Higher Learning Commission Institutional Actions Council, the Winona State University Foundation Board, and as Chair of the Executive Alliance of HealthForce Minnesota.

Wayne Ripley, an English professor and chair of the Winona Human Rights Commission, will facilitate the event.

The event is free and open to the public.

 This event is sponsored by Winona State University Inclusion and Diversity Office, Southeast Technical College the KEAP Diversity Resource Center and the Winonan.


For more information, contact Alexander Hines, Director of Inclusion and Diversity, at

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Kylie Bridenhagen

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