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Dialogue on Disparity (2020)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2020-09-23

Duration: 00:57:47

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Race | African Americans | Health | Criminal justice, Administration of | Elections, 2020 | VOTING | United States presidential election, 2020 | COVID-19 pandemic | Coronaviruses


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Williams, Natasha Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Brown, Sandra Interviewee
  • Wiltz, Gary Interviewee
  • Brown, Sandra Panelist
  • Ferdinand, Keith Panelist
  • Verrett, Reynold Panelist
  • Ahmed, Nora Interviewee
  • Basco, Darrell Interviewee
  • Fields, Cleo Panelist
  • Lampert, Loren Panelist
  • Hebert, Alanah Odoms Panelist
  • Stockley, Joshua Interviewee
  • Couvillon, John Interviewee
  • Samuels, Albert Panelist
  • Milligan, Barry Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square'' from September 23, 2020, features Natasha Williams leading a discussion with panelists on racial disparities in Louisiana. The first segment focuses on health disparities and includes interviews with Dr. Sandra Brown and Dr. Gary Wiltz of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. The panelists are: Dr. Sandra Brown of the Southern University College of Nursing and Allied Health; Dr. Keith Ferdinand of the Tulane School of Medicine; and Dr. Reynold Verrett, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana. They discuss: health inequities in Louisiana; the social determinants that create inequities for African Americans; the health problems in the Black community that are risk factors for COVID-19 (coronavirus); the goal of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force; the historic distrust of the health care system in the Black community; and needed policy changes. The second segment focuses on the criminal justice system and includes interviews with Nora Ahmed, the legal director of the ACLU of Louisiana, and Darrell Basco of the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. The panelists are: State Senator Cleo Fields, the chairman of the Police Training, Screening, and De-escalation Task Force; Loren Lampert, the executive director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association; Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana; and Darrell Basco of the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police. They discuss: the areas of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impact African Americans; the work of Senator Fields’ task force; police training standards in Louisiana; police body cameras; presidential candidate Joe Biden’s proposal to eliminate cash bail; the responsibility of citizens to de-escalate interactions with the police; and the national proposal to abolish qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. The third segment focuses on voting access for the 2020 presidential election and includes interviews with Dr. Joshua Stockley, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises of Louisiana. The panelists are: Dr. Albert Samuels, a political science professor at Southern University; State Senator Barry Milligan, the vice chairman of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee; and Alanah Odoms Hebert, the executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. They discuss: the obstacles to voting in Louisiana; Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s emergency voting plan to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; the recent law restoring voting rights for convicted felons; the importance of redistricting in 2021; and the security of mail-in voting. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Natasha Williams