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Join Us for a Zoom Discussion Series: ‘The Sum of Us’ Podcasts – Stories filled with Hope, Collaboration and Stronger Communities
Zoom Link for Sum of Us Podcasts Here
If you’re tired of the ‘divide-and-conquer’ mentality being pushed onto all of us by social media, take a step away from that “us/them” framework of hate and fear and step into the stories of people from different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds who recognized their common values and worked together to make things better for everyone. Their stories, filled with hope and examples of collaboration and community-building, make up The Sum of Us podcast series. Facilitated Zoom discussions about each podcast will take place beginning January 18 and continue once every 3 to 4 weeks until June. Join us!
Heather McGhee, an economist who for decades worked to address inequality in the U.S. economy, shifted her focus from economics to storytelling through her book, The Sum of Us. The book argues that Americans have been fed a “zero-sum story” that says progress for people of color will take away what white Americans already have. McGhee uses the book to explain that racism actually costs all Americans and misinformation keeps us separated.
“We went from an era of shared prosperity to the era of inequality. Why would the country have done that to itself?” asks McGhee. “It didn’t feel like the economics orthodoxy had an answer.” McGhee instead found the answer in people’s stories; they described people in power turning white, Black and brown people against one another by telling them that one group’s success would come at the expense of another – a pattern that ended up hurting everyone.
McGhee found exceptions to the ‘divide and conquer’ mentality so prevalent in our country today—people in so many places working together to create a shared vision, a good that benefits all.
USH extends an invitation to all to listen to these hope-filled podcasts on your own, then attend Zoom discussions to reflect on the shared stories. The hope is to have local people with first-hand experiences related to the podcast topic to share their experiences with the podcast topic during the first 10 minutes of the ZOOM sessions.
All USH-hosted Zoom sessions will take place between 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Attend one, some or all of them. Dates and topics for each session include:
January 18 Memphis, TN: Environmental Racism & The Right to Clean Water – The ‘sacrifice zones’ – threats to drinking water in Black neighborhoods
February 8 Orlando, Florida – The Land of Second Chances – Returning the right to vote to formerly incarcerated people who served their time
February 22 Kansas City, Missouri: Flipping Burgers – The battle to fight poverty and earn a living wage
March 21 Lewiston, Maine: A New Crop – How immigrants strengthened one area’s local farms and strengthen the overall economy nationwide
April 4 Minden, Nevada: The Last Sundown Siren – How people of color once had to leave suburban towns (including in CT) before nightfall or face dangerous consequences
May 16 Dallas, TX to Albuquerque, NM –Journey of Faith for Reproductive Rights – How faith leaders were a linchpin of abortion access before Roe vs. Wade, and how attacks on abortion rights are being addressed today.
June 6 Manhattan Beach, California: Swimming Together – The return of prime beachfront property to ancestors of a Black family who had it taken from them
June 20 The America that’s Becoming – Taking Action Locally – Lessons we learn from each other and local actions we can take
“Connecting with someone, or seeing yourself in someone, is the antidote to a phenomenon that is, in some ways, destroying America,” notes McGhee. “We need to shift people to say, ‘We’ve found the enemy, and it’s not each other.’”
To register for a podcast (registration is required for each individual podcast ZOOM session), email firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you still trying to decide whether or not to participate? For more information about the content of each podcast and to access them, visit this link: https://open.spotify.com/show/19VMtc487rqmrb6GC8eRvd If you’ve decided to join these discussions, please register and listen to the introductory podcast Why Can’t We Have Nice Things? and the Environmental Racism & The Right to Clean Water podcast prior to January 18th.
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