Bridging America's Divides Through Entertainment Media

Dec 6, 2023, 12:00 pm1:20 pm
University Community


Event Description

[Postponed from October 11]

President of Bridge Entertainment Labs and Founder Steven Olikara will talk about the role that the entertainment industry has in helping overcome the “us versus them” dynamics that are fracturing the U.S. He will also discuss how Bridge Entertainment Labs is helping to change the media landscape to humanize our current political tribes to one another through elevating civic health and social cohesion as a topic of focus for the entertainment industry; equipping creatives to produce content that bridges divides and models healthy conflict; and empowering the entertainment industry with data, research, and resources to accelerate the creation of content that strengthens America's social fabric.

Olikara is a nationally recognized change-maker, entrepreneur, and political commentator. He serves as the President of Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL), dedicated to harnessing the power of entertainment media to transform America’s divisions and elevate new “stories of us” in our culture. He is also the Founder & Former CEO of Millennial Action Project (MAP), the largest cross-partisan organization of young elected leaders in the U.S. A Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017 and Truman Scholar, his political commentary and analysis have been featured across national media outlets, including CNN, NPR, NBC News, the Washington Post, USA Today, and more. He recently made history as the first South Asian candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, garnering national attention for his debate performance and fresh approach to politics. An avid musician, he is a former radio DJ in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI, and co-author of the book, “JFK: The Last Speech,” on the role of artists in democracy. His journey as a musician, bridge-builder, and democracy reformer is featured in the documentary film, “The Reunited States,” on Amazon Prime and PBS.

Lunch will be provided (first come, first served) at noon; talk will begin at 12:15pm.