The Defamation Experience | 12 Years Running

Explore The Defamation Experience

With 12 years running, The Defamation Experience brings a proven interactive diversity experience to your audience. The trial “holds our prejudices and assumptions under a powerful lens, and does not let go except by way of an unsettling self-examination.”
The Defamation Experience | Phases

Here’s The Story:

Ms. Wade, an African-American small-business owner, is invited to the home of Mr. Golden, a wealthy real estate developer. He seeks her help with a pro-bono project. After their meeting, he cannot find his family heirloom watch.

This scenario is the linchpin for all the twists and turns that follow in THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE, a riveting courtroom drama in which Ms. Wade and Mr. Golden again come face-to-face after she sues him for defamation in civil court.

A case without a smoking gun, THE DEFAMATION EXPERIENCE challenges our preconceived notions about race, class, religion, gender, and even the law. As audience members and then jurors, we learn as much or more about ourselves as we do the plaintiff and the defendant.

Convenient Programming Formats To Meet Your Organization’s Needs

The Defamation Experience

— Your Audience Is The Jury —

Event Type: OnlineBring your audience together from wherever they’re located, offering everyone a front-row seat in a 100% virtual experience — ideal for remote learning and remote working environments.

Event Type: TelepresenceDeliver our virtual program to your live audience — ideal for live audiences in a single location or in several rooms/venues simultaneously as a hybrid experience.

Event-Type: In-Person FacilitationNEW: You now have the option to have one of our expert facilitators join your audience in-person to guide your audience through all 3 phases of the program. Following a digital presentation of the film, our facilitator will lead live voting and deliberation and a post-show discussion tailored for your organization.
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Flexible Scheduling Options

One-Time Event: An all-encompassing event with all 3 phases of the experience presented together.

FLEX Event: Attendees will be able to view the film on their own within 48 hours leading up to a scheduled deliberation and discussion.

Custom Program: We’re happy to work with your scheduling and programming needs to customize our online programming for your organization.

Follow-Up Discussion (Optional): Invite your attendees back to rejoin our expert facilitators and continue the conversation after they’ve had time to think and process.

Break the barriers of diversity programming —

Where race, class, religion, gender, and the law collide, a conversation begins.

It’s an ideal solution for your diversity programming needs:

Staff training, MLK & diversity week events, first-year experiences & orientation, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, community outreach, keynote presentations, and more.
Ready to bring this compelling, fully immersive experience to your organization?

Summary: A Three-Phase Online & Interactive Diversity Opportunity

The experience begins with a welcome from one of our expert facilitators and an opportunity from you as co-host to make introductory remarks.

Captivating Courtroom Drama: A 70-minute film of Defamation, created by award-winning playwright Todd Logan, filmed by award-winning HMS Media. The play explores the highly charged issues of race, class, religion, gender, and the law while the film production is optimized to engage attendees individually on Zoom or on a large screen in your venue.

The Case: An African-American owner of a small business sues a wealthy real estate developer for defamation after she is accused of stealing his family heirloom. There is no smoking gun.

Interactive Audience Deliberation: Once the judge announces he won’t be deciding the outcome, your jurors, the audience, answer a poll in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant, or undecided. They are then led through a deliberation. Promoting attendees to the panelist role and using split screens, your audience members come to life for one another.

Facilitated Post-Show Discussion: Let’s Go Deeper: Our facilitator returns after the deliberation to guide civil discourse that challenges biases and preconceived notions. Your audience members will be led in conversation that goes beyond the case to exchange personal perspectives about how they see these important issues based on their own lenses and life experiences.

Facilitated Follow-Up Discussion (Optional): For the past 11 years, venues have given us the feedback the conversation that began in their venue continued for days, weeks, and even months. One week after your initial event, your attendees will be invited to an hour-long follow-up conversation. Its’ another opportunity to share feelings, thoughts, and observations; another opportunity for your community to connect online.

Tech Requirements

The minimal tech requirements for The Defamation Experience are likely already met by your infrastructure for online/distance learning or meetings within your organization.

The Defamation Experience is hosted on Zoom, so you and your audience members should have access to the Zoom platform.

You and your audience members should each have a working webcam and microphone in order to participate in jury deliberations and post-show discussions in our online events. For Telepresence events, we will setup technical pre-work to help you setup your digitally-connected venue(s) for an optimal experience.