We Need to Talk: Conversations on Racism for a More Resilient Las Vegas

Crowd clapping with someone holding up a sign that shows, "We need to talk"

This virtual educational series will feature university and community experts discussing issues on race and seeking solutions for a more inclusive society.

Host: Claytee White
Director, UNLV Oral History Research Center

Episode 9: We Need To Talk About Anti-Asian Hate (May 27, 5:30 p.m.)

This episode will feature discussion about the history of discrimination, prejudice and violence that Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities have experienced in the U.S. The episode will also feature a look at Reflections: The Las Vegas Asian American & Pacific Islander Oral History Project.

Guest Host: Mark Padoongpatt, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies; Interdisciplinary Studies
Director of Asian & Asian American Studies, UNLV

Guest Panelists

Episode 1: Introduction (Sept. 17, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • A.B. Wilkinson, Associate Professor of History, UNLV
  • Brenda Williams, President & Founder, Westside School Alumni Foundation
  • Kevin Wright, Assistant Director for Student Diversity, UNLV

Episode 2: We Need To Talk About Criminal Justice (Oct. 1, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Frank Rudy Cooper, Director for the Program on Race, Gender & Policing, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
  • Greg McCurdy, Security Consultant and Retired Assistant Sheriff, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
  • Tyler D. Parry, Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, UNLV

Episode 3: We Need To Talk About Communication (Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Ricardo Torres-Cortez, Journalist at the Las Vegas Sun; UNLV Hank Greenspun School of Journalism Alumnus
  • Ashton Ridley, KUNV-FM Radio Manager at the UNLV Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies; UNLV Department of Communication Studies Alumnus
  • Nissa Tzun, a UNLV School of Social Work and Journalism School graduate student and member of the Forced Trajectory project.
  • Emma Frances Bloomfield, Assistant Professor, UNLV Department of Communication Studies; Co-Director of the UNLV Public Communication Initiative 

Episode 4: We Need To Talk About Economics (Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Nicholas Barr, Assistant Professor of Social Work, UNLV
  • Alex Dixon,  President, West Region Purestar
  • Alvin Odom, Senior Manager – Diverse Markets, Charles Schwab Bank
  • Shanta Patton, Western Regional Vice President, National Association of Real Estate Brokers

Episode 5: We Need To Talk About Health Care (Feb. 4, 5:30 p.m.)

Our first episode will feature conversations on disparities in access and delivery of health care for people of color.

Guest Panelists

  • Keith E. Whitfield, President, UNLV
  • José Melendrez, Executive Director Office of Community Partnerships, UNLV School of Public Health
  • Melva Thompson-Robinson, Director, UNLV Center for Health Disparities Research

Episode 6: We Need To Talk About Education (Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Teacher, Mojave High School
  • Kenneth Brown, English Teacher, Sierra Vista High School
  • Iesha Jackson, Assistant Professor, Teaching & Learning, UNLV College of Education
  • Kenneth J. Varner, Associate Professor, Literacy Education, UNLV College of Education

Episode 7: We Need To Talk About Where We Go From Here (Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Harriet Barlow, Executive Director, The Intersection, UNLV
  • Sondra Cosgrove, Professor, History, College of Southern Nevada & Executive Director, Vote Nevada
  • Jayce Farmer, Assistant Professor, Public Policy & Leadership, UNLV
  • Minister Stretch Sanders, Community Activist

Episode 8: We Need To Talk About Las Vegas' Westside Neighborhood (Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m.)

Guest Panelists

  • Chase McCurdy, Artist
  • William McCurdy II, Clark County Commissioner, District D
  • Erika Vital-Lazare, Professor of Creative Writing and Marginalized Voices in Dystopian Literature at the College of Southern Nevada

Live streaming provided by UNLV TV.

Additional Resources

This companion guide to the panel series, We Need To Talk, is hosted in collaboration with Special Collections & Archives and the Oral History Research Center.


UNLV Libraries logo
College of urban affairs logo

Additional funding for this series provided by UNLV University Libraries Advisory Board Members Sara Mason, Geri Tomich, and Jerrie Merritt (Bank of Nevada).

Support us

If you would like make a donation to support We Need To Talk or our other diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, consider making a gift to the University Libraries.

Ask Us