Recorded September 17, 2020

Journalist and audio documentarian

Singer | Songwriter

Race & Racism Educator


September 17, 2020 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm


“Seeing White”

Who first made up the story of multiple human races, and why? And what does that history tell us about what it will take to dismantle racism today?

Participants should listen to the podcast Danger prior to this session.


John Biewen 

Journalist and audio documentarian John Biewen will discuss his work over the past few years exploring the history of race and of white supremacy. Where did the very notion of a “white” race—and, by necessity, of a “Black” race—come from in the first place? Who first made up the story of multiple human races, and why? And what does that history tell us about what it will take to dismantle racism today?

John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he teaches and produces the Center’s documentary podcast, Scene on Radio. Before coming to CDS, John reported for Minnesota Public Radio, NPR News, and American RadioWorks. His work has aired on programs such as All Things Considered, This American Life, Studio 360, and the BBC World Service. Since its launch in 2015, Scene on Radio has received more than 7 million downloads and the show’s Seeing White series was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award. John is co-editor of the book, Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound.

Click here to learn more about John Biewen


Laurelyn Dossett

Laurelyn Dossett is a singer/songwriter based in the piedmont area of North Carolina. Thematically, her songs tend to draw from the stories of the region – happy and sad, historical and contemporary. She has performed at regional music festivals such as Merlefest and been a guest on Prairie Home Companion. She has toured with Rhiannon Giddens, folk legend Alice Gerrard, and composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

She has partnered with Triad Stage’s Preston Lane on three plays featuring regional folklore and original music: Brother Wolf, Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, and Bloody Blackbeard. More recently, she wrote the music for Mike Wiley’s play, Leaving Eden.

Click here to learn more about Laurelyn Dossett


Dr. Deborah Stroman

Dr. Deborah Stroman specializes in leadership as applied to the domain of racial equity in the United States. Dr. Stroman has three decades of extensive experience working with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni on leadership and equity issues on campus and beyond. She has spent the past 13 years teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focusing on sports business and entrepreneurship. Her goal is to “encourage inclusion and racial analysis in hopes of becoming a champion for all persons who want to make the world a better place.” She also serves as a trainer with the Racial Equity Institute LLC.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Stroman

Pre-Session Listening

Laurelyn Dossett

The episode “Danger” of Mr. Biewen’s Seeing White is available.