Racial Equity

Why We Need to Talk About Race

February 7, 2018  • Aspen Ideas to Go

Jeff Raikes, former CEO of the Gates Foundation, says the key to real social justice in America is to have tough conversations about race. He’s the first to admit he’s the product of privilege. “I was born white, male, in the United States, and I was born heterosexual,” he says. Raised on a farm in Nebraska, it wasn’t until he left to attend college at Stanford that he realized his lucky lot in life. “Privilege is invisible to those who possess it,” he says.

This conversation between Raikes, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, and Michele Norris, director ofThe Bridge at the Aspen Institute, highlights the importance of a personal story. By talking openly about race, they say, we can break down barriers that exacerbate inequality and threaten democracy.

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