The A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race) open discussion series is hosted by Busboys and Poets as a community service. It provides the opportunity for people to come together and speak openly and honestly about issues of race. The intent is that each person walks away from the discussion feeling something: challenged, educated, uncomfortable, enlightened, refreshed, reassured and hopefully inspired and moved to action! Each month there is a new topic for discussion.

14th & V | 1st Sunday of every month; 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Free and open to all

Events Team | events@busboysandpoets.com


January | The Invisible Black Community: Special Guest Speaker Mimi Machado Luces of TVA Productions TVA Productions, Moderated by Professor Fahima Seck
February | Being Muslim + American: A discussion on politics, race and religion featuring guest speakers: Lobna "Luby" Ismail and Mazi Mutafa.
March | Colorism and the Global Perception of Beauty Hosted by Jonelle Henry, Founder & Host of Districtly Speaking
April | Operation Understanding DC hosts discussion on their mission to eradicate racism, antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.
May | Say it Loud: The Changing Vernacular of Social Justice with panelists Soraya Nadia McDonald, Wesley Lowery, Derrick Weston Brown, and Deborah Menkart. Moderated by acclaimed author and activist Marita Golden.
June | A Special A.C.T.O.R. Book Event Featuring Author Jim Wallis' America's Original Sin.
July | Enid Lee Presents: Fighters for Freedom: There Were Many Harriets.
August | Journalist, Lawyer and Political Columnist Kimberly Atkins will lead a discussion on the Upcoming Elections Vis a Vis Race
September | Police Relations and Race in the District. This discussion will feature Ron Hampton of the National Police Accountability Project. will lead a discussion on the Upcoming Elections Vis a Vis Race
October | The 50 Conversations Project: A discussion with lawyer and human rights expert and activist Nicole Lee.


January | Deconstructing Gentrification: Development Without Community
February | Assata in Her Own Words: A Discussion on the Life and Legacy of Assata Shakur
March | The American LOWS (Legacy of White Supremacy) w/ filmmaker Darnley R. Hodge, Jr.
April | A community conversation with Busboys and Poets founder and owner, Andy Shallal on "Emancipation”
May | A community discussion on the #BaltimoreUprising
June| Nancy Morejón, Afro-Cuban poet, critic and essayist
July| Dr. Frances Cress Welsing: A discussion on Rachel Dolezal, "Passing" and racial identity
August | Judge Not: A Photo Exhibition and Open Discussion on the Perception of Black Men
September | BLACK LIVES MATTER DMV. Moderated by Professor Fahima Seck
October | Washington DC Football Team Name
November | Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: A discussion on the Native Nations that are indigenous to the DMV
December | Race Relations and Student Activism on College Campuses


January | A conversation with Maximize Good about race and racism within the non-profit and foundation sectors
February | Special ACTOR Event Yellow Face co-hosted with Theater J
February | Film Screening: Traces of the Trade
February | Special ACTOR Event We are proud to present… co-hosted by Woolly Mammoth
March | Author, Robert Patterson discusses Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture
April | Skin Color Politics with featured speaker Yaba Blay
May | Author Angie Chuang discusses The Four Words for Home
June| Loving Day with founder Ken Tanabe
July |
August |
September | Advancing The Promise
October | We're All In! the Future of Race Talks. An Interactive Workshop on the Future of Race Talks in DC and Beyond!
November | Hospitality Industry Talk on Race with ROC-DC
December | Global Hip-Hop Identities: Race, Space, and Place with Words, Beats & Life, Inc


ACTOR 2013
January | Portrayal of Slavery in Hollywood & Film with Esther Iverem and Greg Carr
February | A conversation with Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, psychiatrist, lecturer and author of The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
March | Use of the Memoir as a Vehicle for Telling Personal Race Stories with Donna Britt, Author: Brothers (& me): A Memoir of Loving and Giving and Nancy Thurston, Author: Big Topics at Midnight- A texas Girl Wakes up to Race, Class, Gender and Herself.
April | The Invention of the White Race with Jeffrey B. Perry
May | Afro-Venezuelans and the Legacy of Afro-Descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean
June | Filmmaker / educator Melissa Nicolardi and a screening of the film The Pass It On Project
July | Deconstructing the Mandela Myth with Nicole Lee (president, TransAfrica Forum), William Lucy (President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists) and Rebecca Bratter (Vice President, Joint Aid Management [JAM] International)
August | A screening of the Award-Winning Documentary The House I Live In followed by a discussion with the director Eugene Jarecki via Skype
September | Race Relations Post 9/11: Allies in Understanding with representatives from CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), Sikh Coalition and SALDEF (Sikh American Legal Defense Education Fund)
October | The Color of Where We Live: How Does Where We Live Effect Our Views on Race? with Shanna Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA).


ACTOR 2012
February | Author Tema Okun discusses book, The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching about Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know
March | Writing a New History Film Screening with Barbara Jackson and Karen Greisdorf
April | Race: Are We So Different? Exhibit with David LaCroix
May | Author Cameron McWhirter discusses book, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America
June | Marriage Equality in the Black Church Community Featuring Dr. Ron Hopson (Part 1)
June | Did Civil Rights Photography Do More Harm than Good? Discussion with author Martin Berger (Seeing Through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography)
July | Marriage Equality in the Black Church Community Moderated by Dr. Ron Hopson and Featuring Reverend Dr. Christine Y. Wiley (Part 2)
August | Race & Education, in partnership with Teaching for Change
September | Swagger-jacking and Gentrification
October | Dorothy Roberts discusses her book Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century
November | Gilda Daniels, Associate Professor of Law, discusses the focus on voter suppression and the 2012 election
December | Georgetown Law Professor, Gary Peller discusses his new book Critical Race Consciousness: Reconsidering American Ideologies of Racial Justice



February | America I AM: The African American Imprint discussion with Gregory McGruder and Susan Norton of National Geographic Museum
March | Discussion with author Jeremi Duru and his book, Advancing the Ball
April | Pushing the Elephant encore film screening with Maurice Carney (Friends of the Congo) and cast members from the staged play, Ruined
May | A.C.T.O.R. Welcomes Back Dr. Clarence Lusane for a Discussion on his new book, The Black History of the White House
June | Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible
July | Understanding Privilege – Actions and Responsibility discussion
September | Islamophobia, Anti-Arab and Muslim Bias, and Cultural Scapegoating panel discussion featuring Reinal Caspari, Dr. James J. Zogby, Mario Abdul Salam Ahmad, Shibley Telhami, and Nawar Shora
October | Trouble in Mind discussion with Arena Stage
October | Undocumented Lives: Politics and Perspectives from the Local Latino/a Community Discussion
November | Taking on the Media! Discussion with author Amy Alexander and her book, Uncovering Race
November | Intergenerational Perspectives on Race discussion


March | The Legacy of Segregation discussion with Rawn James, Jr., author of Root and Branch
May | Inclusion and Acceptance in Religious Institutions discussion
June | White People play by J.T. Rogers
July | What Does It Mean To Be An American? discussion celebrating America’s Independence Day
August | Update on Haiti with TransAfrica Forum
September | Islamophobia panel discussion featuring Jamal Najjab (United Palestinian Appeal), Askia Muhammad (WPFW), May Khder (Muslim immigrant), Mazi Mutafa (Words Beats & Life) and Dedrick Mohammed.
October | Partnering with Capital Men Group! "School Reform" Town Hall-Style discussion moderated by Dr. Ivory Toldson of Howard University School of Education Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies
December | The Calling film screening and discussion with Community Cinema