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Racism and the Economy: Series kickoff event

October 7, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET | 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CT
Virtual video event

Racism and the Economy: Series kickoff event

Understanding the implications of structural racism in America’s economy and advancing actions to improve economic outcomes for all.

Racism forms the foundation of inequality in our society; it limits opportunity for people of color and threatens the health of our economy. While the global pandemic has intensified racial and economic disparities, the killing of George Floyd has provoked people from all walks of life to address the systems and structures that enable and perpetuate these outcomes.

Racism and the Economy series page

Learn more about the series and upcoming events.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, and Minneapolis have partnered to present a series of virtual events where community, business, and academic leaders will examine the economic impact of racism and advance bold ideas and concrete actions to achieve an economy that makes opportunity available to everyone.

The kickoff event on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, was the first in a series over the next several months exploring context and actions to address systemic racism in employment, housing, education, criminal justice, and other topics.

Raphael Bostic, Neel Kashkari, and Eric Rosengren, the presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Boston were joined for this virtual event by nationally recognized experts:

  • Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink
  • Ursula Burns, former Xerox Corporation
  • Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone
  • Carmen Rojas, Marguerite Casey Foundation
  • Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Full event transcript

Angela Blackwell stream
“Racism and the Economy” series launched
Read the recap article from this event

Event Details

1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET | 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CT
Virtual video event

Event Agenda

Watch full video from each session by clicking on the session’s title

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 12:05 p.m. CT Introduction & Opening Remarks

Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

12:05 p.m. – 12:35 p.m. CT Keynote Speaker

Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink

12:35 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. CT A Discussion with Leaders

Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone
Carmen Rojas, Marguerite Casey Foundation

1:15 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. CT Armchair Interview

Ursula Burns, former Xerox Corporation
Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

1:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. CT Reserve Bank Presidents Discussion

Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Reserve Bank Presidents
Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Eric Rosengren, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

2:20 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT Closing Remarks

Eric Rosengren, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Presenter Information

Angela Glover Blackwell Founder in Residence, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell founded PolicyLink in 1999 with a mission of advancing racial and economic equity for all. Through her work, Blackwell has helped to grow and define a national equity movement focused on innovating and improving public policy with a wide range of partners to ensure access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color.

As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Blackwell is a frequent commentator for some of the nation’s top news publications and programs, including the New York Times, Washington Post, “Marketplace,” and PBS’s “NewsHour.” She is also the host of Radical Imagination podcast.  

Blackwell serves on numerous boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, the U.S. Water Alliance, Pitzer College, and FSG. She also advises the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as one of 15 members of its Community Advisory Council. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ursula Burns Former chairman, Xerox Corporation

Ursula Burns has extensive international experience in large companies confronting technology change in their industries. In June 2017, she was appointed chairman of VEON Ltd. She became chairman and CEO in December 2018 until June 2020.

Burns joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and ended as the chairman of the board of the Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017. President Barack Obama appointed her to help lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) from 2009 to 2016.

Burns also provides leadership counsel to several other community, educational, and nonprofit organizations. She regularly appears on Fortune’s and Forbes’ lists of the world’s most powerful women and is a board director of Exxon Mobil, Nestlé, and Uber. She has received awards from the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Royal Academy of Engineering.

Geoffrey Canada President, Harlem Children’s Zone

Geoffrey Canada created the Harlem Children’s Zone, which the New York Times called “one of the most ambitious social-policy experiments of our time.” Canada is renowned worldwide for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a thought leader and passionate advocate for education reform.

In June 2020, Canada founded the William Julius Wilson Institute (WJW), which will serve as the national platform to help communities impacted by poverty across the country design and implement their own place-based programs—and its first initiative will be to combat the devastation of COVID-19 in the Black community.

Canada was named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world and one of Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders in the world. He grew up in the South Bronx and received a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Carmen Rojas President and CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation

Carmen Rojas, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and founder of the Workers Lab, one of the nation’s leading funders and supporters of achieving a society where workers are powerful drivers of economic, political, and social transformation.

Rojas is a nationally recognized leader in economic and worker justice and is widely published. She has served on several governing boards, including the General Service Foundation, Neighborhood Funders Group, and Workers Benefit Fund, and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Advisory Council.

Rojas earned a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Fulbright scholar and was awarded a Human Rights and Department of Housing and Urban Development fellowship during her graduate work.

Kai Ryssdal Host, Marketplace

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy—radio or television, commercial or public broadcasting—in the country. In addition, he joins forces with Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood to connect the dots on the economy, tech, and culture as co-host of the podcast Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly.

Ryssdal speaks regularly with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, startup entrepreneurs, small business owners, and everyday participants in the American and global economies. He first came to Marketplace in 2001 as the host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he covered the economic aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the collapse of Enron, and the slow buildup to the housing crash, the financial crisis, and the Great Recession.

Before his career in broadcasting, Ryssdal served in the U.S. Navy and the Foreign Service. He’s a graduate of Emory and Georgetown universities, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.