The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Presented By
Heather McGhee, Joni Wickham

We may recognize the awful persistence of racism in America but not the full extent of its impact. Know this much, Heather McGhee says: While targeting some, bias and discrimination take a devastating toll on all.

Drawing from her bestselling book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, McGhee examines that wide social and economic cost and how it’s in the interest of everyone, not just people of color, to push for change. In unlikely places of worship and work, she points to proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend – gains that come when people come together across race to accomplish what they simply can’t do on their own.

Joining her in the discussion is Kansas City political and communications strategist Joni Wickham, who was chief of staff to former Mayor Sly James.

McGhee, former president of the progressive think tank Demos, now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization. She’s also an influential media voice, regularly appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press and MSNBC’s Morning JoeDeadline White House and All In.

Wickham spent eight years in the Kansas City mayor’s office, serving from 2014-19 as James’ chief of staff. Together, they now head Wickham James Strategies & Solutions, working in strategic communications, public policy, government relations, and political consulting.

Their public conversation is co-presented by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Watch the presentation live online at

About the book


The Library and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation present a series of online community conversations about The Sum of Us scheduled throughout October. Learn more and register for one of the virtual discussion sessions.

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This event is co-sponsored by: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

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