People, Policy, and Power: Panel Discussion at The Potter’s House of Dallas

Join PEN America, All Things Edunia, Black Voters Matter, Dallas CORE, and Raise Your Hand Texas at the Potter’s House of Dallas for a community discussion and Q&A with local journalists, organizers, and community leaders about the vital importance of accessible, accurate information to foster civic engagement. We will explore educational issues and proposed legislation that demands voices of equity and justice are heard; the connection between disinformation and other anti-democratic trends; and the importance of storytelling.

This event is scheduled for Saturday April 29 at 10:00am-12:00pm Central at The Potter’s House of Dallas, as part of a series of teach-ins sponsored by United MegaCare Ministry In Civics (MegaCare MIC). The panelists will discuss their experiences as journalists and trusted messengers, their community engagement in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and their work fighting against censorship and educational gag orders in schools.

The objective of this teach-in is to share the direct connection between education policy and lived experiences. We will lift up three key policy matters: educational gag orders (SB3), book bans, and school performance measures. This is the second in the series of community events co-hosted at The Potter’s House with a focus on civic responsibility, healthy news habits that fight mis/disinformation, and having good faith interactions with family, friends, and neighbors. The goal is to inform and inspire the audience to control their own narrative–access to credible information about the aforementioned topics is key to empowering folks, especially marginalized communities and those historically underserved by mainstream media.

People, Policy, and Power: Panel Discussion at The Potter’s House of Dallas

Thank you to our partners and co-sponsors!

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James Whitfield headshotDr. James Whitfield is an award-winning educator with a passion for supporting youth and educators. That passion springs from a deep sense of purpose connected to the teachers who helped change the course of his life. Over his journey of nearly two decades in education he’s served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, leadership strategist, and principal at the middle and high school levels. Dr. Whitfield is deeply committed to ensuring that all students have access to a robust, engaging learning environment that recognizes their genius, removes systemic barriers, and provides innovative, transformational solutions in the face of whatever odds they may face so they may be prepared for a bright and prosperous future. Dr. Whitfield received his Bachelors in Social Science and Masters in Educational Leadership from Southwestern Adventist University and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University.

Jamie Jackson headshotJamie Jackson is a highly accomplished and multi-talented Emmy-nominated broadcast journalist with an impressive 19-year track record of excellence. Beginning his career as a 15-year-old reporter trainee at WPXI Channel 11, the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2003, he quickly made a name for himself in the industry, working as a Television News Anchor, Reporter, Producer, and Host for top local television affiliates including CBS, NBC, ABC, TBN, and PBS stations in Ohio, West Virginia, Kansas, Virginia, Indiana, and Florida. Currently, Jamie serves as the host of “Morning Edition” on NPR station 90.1 KERA News, the DFW’s number one morning radio news show. You can also catch him on KERA TV as a PBS pledge host. Jamie also works for American Urban Radio Networks as a National News Correspondent. As a White House Correspondent for AURN, Jamie covered both the Obama and Trump administrations. In addition to his extensive broadcasting career, Jamie also worked as a columnist for the historic African American newspaper, The Pittsburgh Courier, during his high school and college years. Additionally, Jamie’s impressive career also includes a stint as a Communications Director and Press Secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives before transitioning into the role of National and Congressional Correspondent and head of video content for The Daily Signal in Washington D.C. During his time in the nation’s capital, Jamie conducted high-profile interviews with numerous lawmakers and news headliners, including the late Senator John McCain, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, Talk Show Host Roland Martin, former AEI President Arthur Brooks, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and former President Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election, among others. Jamie’s outstanding work has earned him numerous awards and recognition from organizations such as the Indiana Broadcast Association, the NAACP, and the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, to name just a few. He has also been an active volunteer for several charities, including United Way, the Hanna Community Center, Read to Succeed, and Habitat for Humanity. As a respected speaker on a range of issues including journalism, race, politics, and public policy, Jamie has addressed events and organizations across the country, including the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Detroit and the National Forum of Black Public Administrators Conference. He has also served as a political communications and journalism lecturer at both Wheaton College and West Chester University. Alongside his thriving broadcasting and journalism careers, Jamie is also a successful entrepreneur, owning outdoor sports apparel company Jackson Mountain Supply as well as Jackson Dream Homes, a real estate company in Florida and Texas, and has recently added authorship to his impressive list of achievements with the publication of his two children’s coloring books, “Lily Grace Visits Space,” and “Lily Grace Goes to the Zoo,” available now on Amazon. With his wide-ranging experience and talent, Jamie Jackson is a true industry leader and an inspiration to many.

Host and moderator

Martina Van Norden is a social entrepreneur and advocate, with almost three decades of experience working passionately as a transformational leader in DC Public Schools, Prince Georges County Public Schools and with several charter school networks in Texas and Washington, DC. Whether classroom teacher, school leader or educational consultant, Martina has maintained a  career commitment to education equity. Her role as a boy-mom has inspired a special interest in advocacy and policy focused on black male achievement. In 2019, she became a self-published author and founder of All Things Edunia LLC, an educational consulting company to support public education by offering program development and community engagement services. Martina serves as a charter school board member for North Texas Collegiate Academy and Third Future Schools. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampton University and a Masters of Education in Education Policy & Leadership from American University.


Sanderia Faye, Dallas/Fort Worth PEN America Chapter Leader, serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University, and is a professional speaker, activist, and sommelier. Her novel, Mourner’s Bench, is the winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in debut fiction, The Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for fiction, and The 2017 Arkansas Library Association, Arkansiana Award. She is the host of LitNight Reading Series. Faye’s work has appeared in the Southwest Review, Rain Taxi, Nat Brut, the Collagist, and other literary journals. She received “Best Of” honors at the 2011 Eckerd College Writers’ Conference, Co–Directors Dennis Lehane and Sterling Watson, where her winning story was published in SABAL Literary Journal. She published in the anthology Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, and moderated the grassroots panel for the Arkansas Civil Rights Symposium during the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary. She coordinated the first AWP African Diaspora Caucus, and has moderated and served on several panels.