Closing the Racial Gaps: Virtual Event

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On Tuesday, September 27th, Living Cities will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary. As part of our celebration, we will be hosting a Virtual Event for you to engage in critical conversations around the topic of closing racial opportunity gaps in the United States.


1) Tune-in! Over the course of the day, we will Live-Stream a series of provocative panels, presentations and artist performance on Facebook.

*Live-Streaming will start at 9:00 AM EST. Timing information and links to Facebook Streams below.

2) Join our Twitter Chat! We will wrap-up the day with a Live Twitter-Chat on "How to Make Capitalism Work for Social Change" using hashtag #LC25Years. Additional details and a list of chat questions are forthcoming.

*The Twitter Chat will start at 2:30 PM EST. Timing and information below.

3) Read Live Blogs on Medium! Follow along on our Medium Publication.



9:00-9:20 AM

Closing the Racial Gaps: Then and Now
Facebook Live; Tweet w/ #LC25Years
Living Cities’ President & CEO, Ben Hecht, and Board Chair, Rip Rapson of The Kresge Foundation, will set the stage for our day together.

9:20-9:25 AM

Urban Word Poets Performance
Facebook Live & Virtual Conversation
Spoken Word Poets, Mahogany Browne and Crystal Valentine, present an artist’s interpretation of the challenge. The Virtual Audience will be prompted to reflect during the performance, and participate in facilitated Q&A on Facebook and Twitter.

9:30-9:35 AM

"Diversity Explosion" with Bill Frey, Brookings
Facebook Live; Tweet w/ #LC25Years
The United States is on the cusp of becoming a country with no racial majority. In "Diversity Explosion" Brookings demographer, Bill Frey, shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades. Get a behind the scenes looks at the research through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps.

9:35 - 11:05 AM

Race, Opportunity, and U.S. Cities

Facebook Live-Stream; Tweet w/ #LC25Years and Virtual Q&A w/ #LC25Ask
Despite great progress over the past 25 years, disparities in areas such as housing, wealth and income have grown, with people of color falling disproportionately behind. Our panelists will focus on critical changes that are necessary to close the gaps in the next 25 years.


  • Angela Glover Blackwell, President and CEO of PolicyLink
  • Glenn Harris, President of the Center for Social Inclusion
  • Blair Taylor, CEO of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance
  • Sarah Wartell, President of Urban Institute
  • Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change
  • Nick Turner, President and Director of Vera Institute of Justice
  • Lata Reddy, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and President of the Prudential Foundation


12:40-1:00 PM

Audible's Big Bet in Newark
Facebook Live-Stream; Tweet w/ #LC25Years
A brief presentation on rethinking social investment in U.S. cities with Don Katz, Founder and CEO, Audible Inc.

1:25-1:55 PM

Harnessing Capitalism to Close the Gaps
Facebook Live-Stream
Harnessing capitalism for social good has always been at the heart of Living Cities. Yet, we've found place-based interventions and tools to be grossly inadequate. A series of three Petcha Kucha Style talks will focus on what is needed to close the income and wealth gaps, specifically racial disparities, in the next 25 years.

  • Ben Hecht:; President and CEO, Living Cities
  • Don Chen: Director of Equitable Development, Ford Foundation
  • Kesha Cash: Founder and General Partner, Impact America Fund


2:30-3:30 PM

How to Make Capitalism Work for Social Change
Twitter Chat and Q&A w/ #LC25Years and #LC25Act

We will wrap-up the day with a Live Twitter-Chat on "How to Make Capitalism Work for Social Change." Anyone can join the chat! We will moderate using the Twitter handle, @Living_Cities and the hashtag #LC25Years. At the conclusion of the hour-long chat, all participants will be invited to share their final ideas and action commitments with the hashtag #LC25Act. Additional details and a list of chat questions are forthcoming.


If you have questions about participation or involvement, please email Elizabeth Vargas at

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