‘A Grownup Conversation About Race and Class’: Rev. William Barber to Address Institute’s Detroit Conference


Renowned campaigner for social and economic justice to set the tone in conference keynote

The Institute for New Economic Thinking is thrilled to announce that the Reverend Dr. William Barber II will be the keynote speaker at our conference on the economics of race in Detroit on November 11.

Barber, leader of the North Carolina NAACP and the Moral Monday movement, is a nationally renowned organizer and campaigner for racial, social, and economic justice in his home state and across America. He is also an electrifying orator — a gift he displayed in July of this year when he galvanized the Democratic National Convention with a call for a “moral revival.” 

His focus on issues like fair pay, the needs of the poor, economic inequality, and creating a more inclusive society “are not left v. right or liberal v. conservative,” he told delegates, “they are right v. wrong.” They also reflect some of the core questions posed by the Institute in the course of its efforts to rethink economics.

“In this season,” said Barber, “when some want to harden and stop the heart of our democracy, we are being called, like our foremothers and fathers, to be the moral defibrillators of our time.”

In his multi-state Revival Tour, which promotes messages of social and economic justice, Barber has called for a “grown-up conversation about race and class” in America.  This theme reflects the aims of the Institute’s gathering in Detroit, which will explore troubling structural inequities in wealth, environment, employment, health, educational access, and treatment by the criminal justice system.

The Institute welcomes Barber’s voice and inspiration as we pursue an economics that serves humanity, and seek to illuminate a path towards understanding and healing America’s racial divide.

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