SEATTLE — On Sunday, September 13, KING 5 will launch a series on racism and racial inequity titled “Facing Race.” Debuting after Sunday Night Football and the 5th Quarter on KING 5, the weekly program will also air on king5.com alongside exclusive digital content. Longtime anchor Joyce Taylor will host the broadcast and Tacoma bureau chief Christin Ayers will drive the show’s content as executive producer and contributor.
“At a time when people are actively seeking answers about prejudice and privilege, ‘Facing Race’ gives us an opportunity for meaningful, honest discourse about how our nation’s history of racism manifests itself today and how we, as Washingtonians, can confront it and move forward,” said Ayers of the series.
“’Facing Race’ is an opportunity to have hard discussions around racism we see all around us - in policing, education and in our own workplace,” added Taylor. “As a journalist, I know this is a rare and long overdue opportunity to look deeply into ourselves, where real change begins, and expose how systemic racism impacts our lives and community in nearly every respect, so we can all take a stake in creating an equitable future.”
The series will tackle issues around race – exposing racism and helping viewers understand its role in our everyday lives and take action to dismantle it at both an individual and systemic level. Stories told will examine the real truths about inequity, injustice and systemic racism, and how they persist today in the Pacific Northwest. Through these stories, “Facing Race” will bring to light the small and large steps each of us must take to make our national reckoning on race a turning point. Investigative reporter Taylor Mirfendereski will lead digital reporting for the series and Michael Botsford will work as the dedicated photojournalist, with content contributions from the KING 5 news staff.
"KING 5 has a storied history of facilitating conversations around race and inequities, and we have a duty to continue that legacy with this series,” said news director Pete Saiers. “Our history of serving our community, the extraordinary talent in our newsroom and our mission to Stand for Truth put us in a unique position to take on a project of this magnitude.”
“Facing Race” is inspired in part by a KING 5 series called “Face to Face,” hosted by Roberta Byrd Barr and produced by Jean Walkinshaw. “Face to Face” was the region’s first television program with an African American host and has been described as the first television show in the Pacific Northwest “to consistently explore issues of concern to minorities.” Walkinshaw, one of the first female documentary producers in the Northwest, said that the stories told in the program highlighted “people of all different backgrounds, all different races, showing a different segment of society from what one usually saw.” Looking back at those stories shows some progress made, but also calls attention to the progress that hasn’t yet happened – emphasizing the importance and need for a program like “Facing Race.”