Open to Debate and TED Partner on Virtual Debate Monday, July 24

July 19, 2023
Shore Fire Media Press Release

Jamelle Bouie argues YES; Coleman Hughes argues NO

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, with the majority saying that giving some races priority in college admissions violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause. The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual, not on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. This idea, colloquially known as color blindness, has long been presented by some as a philosophy to help improve relations between racial groups. Those who support it say it promotes fairness and equal opportunity without increasing division. Those who are opposed say not “seeing” race denies systemic racism and silently maintains discrimination. On Monday, July 24, nonpartisan debate series Open to Debate and TED will present a virtual live taping taking on the question: “Does Color Blindness Perpetuate Racism?”

Arguing “YES” is New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie, who covers history and politics and has reported on campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Arguing “NO” is recent TED speaker and The Free Presscontributing writer Coleman Hughes, who hosts the Conversations with Coleman podcast where he discusses polarized issues in the realm of race, politics, and culture in the West.

The debate will not be released widely until August 11 via public radio, video and podcast. Press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Monday, July 24 at 12:05 PM ET. Media can email for virtual access.



* Jamelle Bouie: Columnist for the New York Times

Jamelle Bouie is a columnist for the New York Times and a political analyst for CBS News, where he covers history and politics and has reported on campaigns, elections, national affairs, and culture. Prior to working at the Times, Jamelle was the chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and a staff writer at The Daily Beast. He has held fellowships at The American Prospect and The Nation magazine and was recognized in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Media list in 2015. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in political and social thought and government.

* Coleman Hughes: Host of the “Conversations with Coleman” podcast and Contributing Writer at The Free Press

Coleman Hughes is a writer, podcaster, and opinion columnist specializing in race, public policy, and applied ethics. He is the host of the podcast “Conversations with Coleman” where he discusses polarized issues in the realm of race, politics, and culture in the West. Named to Forbes 30-under-30 list in 2021, Coleman Hughes is a former Presidential Scholar, was previously a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at the City Journal. He has also written for outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Quillette, City Journal, and The Spectator. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in philosophy.


TED is on a mission to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. Our organization is devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge — without an agenda.We welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and connection with others, and we invite everyone to engage with ideas and activate them in your community.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, but today it spans a multitude of worldwide communities and initiatives exploring everything from science and business to education, arts and global issues. In addition to the hundreds of TED Talks curated from our annual conferences and published on, we produce original podcasts, short video series, animated educational lessons (TED-Ed)  and TV programs that are translated into more than 100 languages and distributed via partnerships around the world. Each year, more than 3,000 independently run TEDx events bring people together to share ideas and bridge divides in communities on every continent. Through the Audacious Project, TED has helped catalyze more than $3 billion in funding for projects that seek to make the world more beautiful, sustainable and just. In 2020, TED launched Countdown, an initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis and mobilize a movement for a net-zero future. View a full list of TED’s many programs and initiatives.

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our aim is to help create a future worth pursuing for all.

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Open to Debate addresses a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. We are the nation’s only nonpartisan, debate-driven media organization dedicated to bringing multiple viewpoints together for a constructive, balanced, respectful exchange of ideas. Open to Debate is a platform for intellectually curious and open-minded people to engage with others holding opposing views on complex issues. We know debate works to find common ground: On average, 32% of the Open to Debate audience changes their mind on contentious topics after hearing a debate. That’s the power of debate done right, and at scale, it can change the direction we’re headed in America. Open to Debate is broadcast as a weekly public radio program, carried on NPR stations including WNYC (#1 in the nation). Open to Debate is made available as a podcast, video series, and digital platform, and records episodes with live audiences nationwide. Visit to become a member, access an archive of more than 220 debates, and attend live events.

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For more information on Open to Debate, please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.

For more information on TED, please contact Melody Serafino (