Heather McGhee

Thursday, Oct. 14, 10:00 a.m. ET

We have to have a radical imagination . . . gains will only be achieved when we come together across lines of race to find common solutions to our common problems.

Heather McGhee headshot


Heather McGhee designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. She is the author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (2021). For nearly two decades, Heather helped build the non-partisan “think and do” tank Demos, serving four years as president. As an executive, McGhee transformed Demos on multiple levels. In particular, she designed a Racial Equity Organizational Transformation which led to an increase in staff racial diversity (from 27 percent people of color to 60 percent in four years), an original racial equity curriculum for staff professional development and a complete overhaul of the organization’s research, litigation and campaign strategies using a racial equity lens. An influential voice in the media and an NBC contributor, she has shared her opinions, writing and research in numerous outlets. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Heather will discuss her new book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, with particular emphasis on the way in which racism hurts higher education and limits the prospects for climate action.

Racism has a cost for everyone

Racism makes our economy worse — and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential — and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. “Our fates are linked,” she says. “It costs us so much to remain divided.”

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