Here’s how you can follow up after the 2017 Uncharted

by Lance Knobel

We asked our 2017 speakers for suggestions on follow-up reading, listening or viewing, as well as for some concrete steps people could take if they care about the various issues that came up in their on-stage conversations. Here they are — enjoy!

lisa aliferisLISA ALIFERIS
Senior Communications Officer, California Health Care Foundation
Was in conversation with Vitka Eisen

Reading: The New Yorker’s story on the Sackler dynasty’s role in marketing painkillers. You may never enter The Met’s Sackler wing again: The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

Action: Dispose of any prescription drugs sitting in your medicine cabinets that you are not using, especially opioids and benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Ativan. People of all ages who are misusing these drugs will search for them in cabinets. There are “national drug take back days” twice a year.

Co-Founder of Living Room Conversations,  and
Facilitated two Living Room Conversations at Uncharted Festival 2017.

Reading: The Living Room Conversations website has links to eight articles on the importance of different points of view.

Action: Sign up at Living Room Conversations and then have a conversation about something you are curious about.

Professor, The Wright Institute
Was in conversation with Ralina Joseph

Reading: For books and resources I would direct folks to my website where there is a resource page that has such information.
Action: Keep talking about race, even and especially when it makes you uncomfortable.

Author, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching
Was in conversation with Helena Brantley

Reading: The Chomsky-Foucault Debate on Human Nature, by Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault;  Civil Wars, by June Jordan; The World and the Jug, by Ralph Ellison; Evidence of Things Not Seen by James Baldwin; Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward; Electric Arches, by Eve L. Ewing; Tell Me How it Ends, by Valeria Luiselli; A Black Feminist Statement, by The Combahee River Collective; Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag.

CEO, Healthright 360
Was in conversation with Lisa Aliferis

Reading: Four books (we don’t provide Amazon links, because we very much want you to support local bookstores or the local library). Chasing the Scream: The first and last days of the War on Drugs, Johann Ha; Drug Dealer, M.D.: How doctors were duped, patients got hooked, and why it’s so hard to stop, Anna Lembke, MD; Dreamland: The true tale of America’s opiate epidemic, Sam Quinones; Getting Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to pleading, nagging, and threatening, Robert Meyers and Brenda Wolf.

Action: Two ideas for action. First, if you have opioid pain medications, get them out of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and put them somewhere more secure, someplace where guests are less likely to have access to  them. Second,  support AB 186, a bill that would allow safe injection facilities for injection drug users in several counties that are seeking to pilot such services. Safe injection services can be found in over 100 locations around the world, but none in the U.S. These services help prevent opioid overdoses, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, help reduce public drug injecting, and encourage access to care and treatment.

Founding Director, University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity
Was in conversation with Allison Briscoe-Smith 

Reading: Books in multicultural education that aren’t on mixed-race, but are right where we want to take the conversation: Jabari Mahiri’s Deconstructing Race: Multicultural Education Beyond the Color-Bind, Oslem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo’s Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education, and Tyrone Howard’s Why Race & Culture Matter in Schools. Books in critical mixed-race studies: Michele Elam’s The Souls of Mixed Folks and of course I always appreciate a plug for my books, Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial and Postracial Resistance: Black Women, Media, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity.

WatchingThe Loving Story HBO documentary vs. Loving movie.

Listening: I am listening to the three-part story on a D.C. all-boys school on Codeswitch podcast.

Action: Understanding mixed race is ultimately about understanding multiplicity. For those whose reality isn’t about such multiplicity, I challenge them to experiment with trying to understand what it means to live with multiple identities (and this of course goes far beyond “just race”).  This must begin with participating in critical listening (listening deeply with intention) to all kinds of stories, and to hearing the strength in the multiples. I know that this doesn’t seem like much, but truly listening is the most concrete (and can be the most life-changing) of all first steps. This is at the heart of what we do with the Interrupting Privilege program I run at my Center — I can tell you more about that another time!

Sociologist, advocate for displaced persons and human-rights activist.
Was in conversation with Lance Knobel

Reading: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations General Assembly); Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (UNHCR); Are Human Rights Universal?by Michael J. Perry (The John Hopkins University Press); Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication, by Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Phillip G. Schrag (Stanford Law Review).

WatchingGod Grew Tired of Us and Well-Founded Fear, both documentaries; The Good Lie movie.

Leadership expert, author of  Everyday Leadership: Getting Results in Business, Politics and Life and Be Real: Inspiring Stories For Leading At Home And Work.
Was in conversation with Jennifer Riel

Reading: Jennifer Riel’s talk on “integral thinking” reminds me of a lot of things I have been writing about for many years in my blog, Reading for Leading. Here’s an example of the theme that I was discussing with her, leading and thinking by two

Listening: How Mary Zatina shows lesson one in Leading x 2 podcast.

Question: I thought Jennifer asked a great one which I’ve been mindful since our conversation: “Say more…?”  So, it would be interesting for people to share stories about how they have used this simple two-word question/statement to positive effect. (I just used it with my wife, in a case where if I had used my default words and tone she would have felt defensive. But I realized I really DIDN’T know what she meant and so I used those two words with a mostly neutral, somewhat warm tone, and I got a very non-defensive and very illuminating answer — that I had zero need to disagree with.)

Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, former director of Books Not Bars campaign
Was in conversation with Jonathan Rapping

Reading: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander; Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling, by Marc Mauer. For those who want to geek out: Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire, by Robert Perkinson; and Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, by Ruth Gilmore.
Action: Become a member of the Ella Baker Center!

Co-Founder, Life After Hate, author Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.
Was in conversation with Wes Enzinna

Reading: Between the World and Me, by Ta-nehisi Coates; Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson; White American Youth: My Descent Into America’s Most Violent Hate Movement—And How I Got Out, by Christian Picciolini.

Watching: The Politics of Hate film

Listening: Tim Wise’s Speak Out podcast
Action: Find someone you feel doesn’t deserve compassion and give it to them. Chances are they are the ones who need it the most.

Professor of Astronomy and Physics, UC Berkeley, Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair in Physics
Solo presentation

Reading: UC Berkeley’s press release on the topic of the first detection of gravitational waves from the cataclysmic merger of two neutron stars, and the observation of visible light in the aftermath of that merger, includes a broad summary as well as a short video by one of my colleagues. I believe this article, by Katia Moskvitch in Quanta Magazine, would be a good additional read: Neutron-Star Collision Shakes Space-Time and Lights up the Sky.


Architect, Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture, Chair of the Masters of Architecture Committee at UC Berkeley.

Solo presentation
Reading: Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide, by Michael Dear; Border Cantos, by Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo

Criminal justice innovator, Founder and President, Gideon’s Promise
Was in conversation with Zachary Norris

Watch: Those interested could check out my TedX Talk. There is also this short clip of one of our lawyers.
Reading: Redefining Success as a Public Defender: A Rallying Cry for Those Most Committed to Gideon’s Promise, by Jonathan Rapping;
Action: I would ask folks to think of ways to elevate the important role of public defenders when we discuss criminal justice reform. Demand of elected officials that they respect public defenders and give them the resources to give people the representation they deserve. In races for judges, prosecutors, or legislators, ask about their position with respect to public defense and what in their record proves a respect for the position. When reformers are talking about criminal justice but leave out public defenders, push them to explain why. And, of course, Gideon’s Promise always takes donations to help us to continue to build this army where the need is greatest.

Adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Was in conversation with Dan Mulhern

Listening: Transcending Either-Or Decision Making podcast, Harvard Business Review.

Reading: How Unilever won over shareholders with its long-term approach, by Jennifer Riel and Roger Martin,  The Globe and Mail. Being sure you’re right makes you weaker, by Justin Fox, Bloomberg View. I also think that the Righteous Mind is a great follow-on: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt.

Constitutional lawyer, expert on freedom of speech
Was in conversation with Alan Schlosser
Reading: Erwin Chemerinsky’s brand new book, Free Speech on Campus, is a timely and good primer on free speech law, written in easily accessible prose for non-lawyers. It explains how we protect speech and has a long chapter on hate speech. Its primary focus is on speech on campus (by faculty, administration, students, and outside speakers). I like to think my own first book, Figures of Speech: First Amendment Heroes and Villains, is still worth reading, but it’s not up-to-the-moment. Eugene Volokh’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, published by the Washington Post, has lots of posts, mostly of a libertarian slant.Watching: UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ led a faculty panel on free speech in September 2017, and it was great. All points of view well expressed.Listening: Dahlia Lithwick’s Amicus podcast on Slate focus on the Supreme Court but occasionally deal with free speech issues.

Screenwriter and producer, Feud
Was in conversation with David Wiegand

Reading: Breakdown of what a showrunner is, and why a showrunner/creator is more powerful than a director in TV, in The Guardian: Showrunners: TV’s Lords and Creators. Looking at the Bechdel test from the vantage point of the genders behind a project, with handy graphs and a Bechdel test simulator! This is the annual study I mentioned about women’s representation in TV, Boxed In. This recently published study shows that two-thirds of shows have no black writers at all. Therese Rebeck’s essay on being a “difficult woman,” fired from her own show, published in DOUBLE BIND and excerpted here. On why there are so few female creators in “prestige drama” (focusing specifically on HBO, but conclusions are more broadly applicable, and a breakdown of cable networks is at the foot of the piece) in the Huffington Post.

Action: Make an intentional effort to seek out shows created by women and people of color. Tell friends if you like them. If you write, write about them. Tweet about them. With such an avalanche of television, fan attention matters.

Assistant managing editor and TV critic, San Francisco Chronicle
Was in conversation with Gina Welch 

Reading: “I would above all, recommend reading the “Boxed In” study issued annually by San Diego State University on women in TV and film. It is the most accurate and telling, because it goes beyond just how many women are in leading roles, to how many are  behind the cameras as well. SDSU has been doing the study for 20 years and it is fascinating to look back and see two things: There is progress, and it’s very slow, even today.”
David also recommends Alyssa Rosenberg’s Act Four pop culture blog in the Washington Post. “She is indefatigable on the issues of diversity.”

Action: “Most of all, support shows created by women. Look for them, watch them and share their importance on social media. Not every show created by a woman is great, but when women like Jill Soloway and Shonda Rhimes are pushing their way into the top levels of television, we need to be behind them. There are others. Pamela Adlon, who co-created Better Things with Louis CK, is cracking the glass ceiling. Issa Rae, Rachel Bloom, Julie Klausner, Ava Duverney,   Tig Notaro, Chelsea Handler and, yep, Oprah. I just watched a forthcoming show on Showtime called SMILF, created by, starring and directed by Frankie Shaw, about a single mom living in Boston. Every one of these women has created shows I respect and like.

“I hope that’s useful and of course, most of all, support any show that Gina Welch writes!”

Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law. Author of White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.
Was in conversation with Peter Leyden.

One concrete action: You should care about whether our country offers good jobs for Americans without college degrees. If you’re an employer, create one. If you’re a manager, do the same — not just for professionals in your “core business,” but for everyone from the security guard to the building engineer.

Reading: The Dignity of Working Men, by Michele Lamont. Those Who Work, Those Who Don’t, by Jennifer Sherman.

ICU and palliative care physician, Highland Hospital; author of Extreme Measures – Finding a Better Path to the End of Life.
Was in conversation with Amy Tobin.

Reading: “At the very real risk of sounding self-interested, the best that I can offer for a next step is to read my book, Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life. The book is filled with stories that are relatable and motivating, and once the reader has been engaged, she can partake of the very robust appendix at the end of the book to get a very prescriptive, 6-step path forward. The resources page is also robust and engaging.”

Watching: “The other tool is for people to watch the movie Extremis (again, at the risk of sounding self-interested), the short documentary that was filmed at our hospital’s ICU and which is emotionally engaging and engendering of deep thought. At least that’s what I’ve been told by many laypeople and healthcare professionals. It also was nominated for an Oscar and two Emmys and won several film festivals, something else which can drive interest.”