race | April 16, 2020

Public Policy Expert Heather McGhee Explores the Hidden Cost of Racism in Her New TED Talk

In an eye-opening talk for TED, Heather McGhee reveals how a surprising on-air confrontation around racial prejudice helped her make a stunning realization about our current economic landscape.

It turns out, racism isn’t just bad for people of color. It’s bad for everyone. As Heather McGhee declares in her TEDWomen talk: “Racism leads to bad policy-making. [And] it’s making our economy worse.”


After an exchange with a prejudiced C-Span caller went viral, McGhee began to rethink the economic problems plaguing the nation. “I wondered, is it possible that our society's racism has likewise been backfiring on the very same people set up to benefit from privilege?” This question took her on a journey writing, researching, and traveling around the country, where she came to the conclusion that many of our economic issues, from the 2008 financial crisis to our gutted social safety net, can be attributed to racist ideologies and institutions. In other words, the status quo isn’t working for us. But in her captivating talk, McGhee offers historical examples and personal anecdotes to show us that a new reality is possible.


Watch her full talk here.


To book speaker Heather McGhee for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive speakers bureau.

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