LISTEN: How important is removing statues in the larger context of systemic racism?

The Captain Cook statue in downtown Anchorage (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

For many Americans, monuments, statutes and other historical markers are tributes to past figures, but for Native and Black Americans, these relics are painful reminders of racism and colonization. Some want them torn down, others say they should remain with accurate historical context. Is this the right fight? Or does it distract from the difficult work of eliminating systemic racism? We’ll discuss it on the next Talk of Alaska.

HOST: Lori Townsend

  • Aaluk Edwardson, Artistic and Executive Director, Bright Shores Creative Decolonization
  • Aaron Leggett, President, Native Village of Eklutna
  • Ashleigh Gaines, Chair, Youth Works committee, NAACP Anchorage


Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (comments may be read on air).

Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
LIVE Web stream: Click here to stream.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.