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Livestream: Heather McGhee on "The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together"

4:00pm sharp to 5:00pm EDT livestream

Event Details

Speaker Series

Date: Wednesday April 07, 2021 | 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Speaker(s): Heather McGhee, Author, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

In Conversation with: Sarah Kaplan, Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE), Distinguished Professor of Gender & the Economy and Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Topic: "The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together" (One World, Feb. 16 2021)
Venue:

Online. The link to the livestream is included in the confirmation email you receive after you register.

Location: Online
Cost: $37.00 + HST per person (includes the link to the livestream and a copy of "The Sum of Us" shipped to customers after the livestream).
Register Now

Please note: The stated registration fee for this event only applies to customers residing in Canada and the U.S.A. If you are registering for this livestream from outside of these countries, please contact events@rotman.utoronto.ca regarding your registration as shipping fees vary depending on your location. 


Book Synopsis:
A powerful new exploration about the self-destructive bargain of white supremacy and its rising cost to all of us–including white people–from one of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers.

Heather C. McGhee’s specialty is the American economy–and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. As she dug into subject after subject, from the financial crisis to declining wages to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common problem at the bottom of them all: racism–but not just in the obvious ways that hurt people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It’s the common denominator in our most vexing public problems, even beyond our economy. It is at the core of the dysfunction of our democracy and even the spiritual and moral crises that grip us. Racism is a toxin in the American body and it weakens us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

To find the way, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to Maine, tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm–the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she collects the stories of white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams and their shot at a better job to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country–from parks and pools to functioning schools–have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. It’s why we fail to prevent environmental and public health crises that require collective action. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee also finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to the benefit of all involved.

The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, still the richest country in the world, but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. At the heart of the book are the humble stories of Americans yearning to be a part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a vision for the future of our country–one whose population has ties to every place on the globe–where we finally realize that life can be so much more than zero-sum.


About Our Speaker:
Heather McGhee is an expert in economic and social policy. The former president of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, McGhee has drafted legislation, testified before Congress and contributed regularly to news shows including NBC’s Meet the Press. She now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. McGhee holds a BA in American studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.


Series Host: Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman (GATE)

Questions: events@rotman.utoronto.ca, Megan Murphy, (416) 978-6122 


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