The annual Summit on Inequality & Opportunity is a one-day gathering dedicated to conversations about the widening opportunity gap in the United States. More than 400 policymakers, civic leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and practitioners from all over the country will gather on March 8 to share their ideas, research, best practices, and models for the fight against poverty and inequality of all kinds. Here are the most powerful lessons shared by past speakers on how to make our world more equitable.
Elizabeth Acevedo on validating the experiences of others
As an Afro-Latina and native New Yorker, Elizabeth Acevedo often felt like an outsider in her creative writing program. When she mentioned to a professor that she wanted to write an ode to the rat, the creature she was most familiar with, he told her that she needed “more experiences.” This was her response.
Dr. Leana Wen on rethinking addiction
Dr. Leana Wen, the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore, says that your perception of addiction may be based on your class and background. It is important to recognize these biases in order treat each afflicted community with the respect and care it deserves.
Senator Mark Warner on designing worker benefits
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is concerned about the future of work in America — one-third of workers are on part-time contracts with limited job security. He explains why he’s pushing for legislation that would fund pilot projects for flexible, portable benefits that workers can carry with them.
Michael Sorrell on making tough decisions
On his second day as the president of Paul Quinn College, Michael Sorrell cut the football team. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was the right one for his students and their community.
Anne Stuhldreher on ending cash-register justice
Millions of people have had their licenses suspended for not being able to pay traffic court fines and fees. The hidden costs of the cash register justice system disproportionately endanger the livelihoods of poor and minority citizens. Anne Stuhldreher, director of financial justice for the City and County of San Francisco, is working to change that.
José Quiñonez on building immigrant wealth
It is hard for immigrants in the US to feel financially secure when they do not have credit scores or bank accounts. As founder of the Mission Asset Fund, José Quiñonez helps families overcome these challenges by linking loans from friends and family to the formal financial sector.
Asia Boulware on lifting up youth voices
Asia Boulware, then a high school senior at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Southeast DC, reminds us to include young people when discussing the needs of a community. Bridging the opportunity gap requires their advice and input.
Watch and listen to this year’s inspirational speakers on our livestream.