Wayne County Community College District will hosts a discussion to highlight multiracial democracy in America and how these institutions have not served Black and brown communities in this nation. The virtual event will feature a one-on-one discussion between two of the nation’s thought leaders and authors and act as the start of the Detroit Urban Summit Series. Sponsored by the Institute of Social Progress, ISP, and School for Continuing Education at the college.
Eddie Glaude Jr. is a professor of African American Studies at the country’s elite Princeton University. The Chair of the Center for African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies, the scholar has also published several books, including a novel based on author James Baldwin and American politics entitled Begin Again. The Morehouse and Princeton University alum has also penned novels Democracy in Black: How to Race Still Enslaves the American Soul and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and Black America’s Politics.
Taking part in the discussion alongside Glaude is award-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, known for her work on the Pulitzer Prize-winning feature covering the 1993 Midwest floods and a young boy who cared for his siblings during the devastation. Also, a 2010 New York Times Bestseller for her work on The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, the professor released another book in August 2020 called Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents which compares the American caste system to that or Germany.
To add to her list of accomplishments, Wilkerson is the first Black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, the author also presented the National Humanities Medal by the now-former, President Barack Obama, for her storytelling abilities.
With the theme “Towards New Dialogues of American Multiracial Democracy,” the two intellectuals will speak on how democracy looks for people of different races. The Detroit Urban Summit Series will also feature speakers who will discuss important issues such as urban studies, educational equity, public policy, and the future of American democracy.
With the country facing social, political, and racial unrest, open dialogue on inclusivity and equality is needed to move the needle forward and usher in change for affected communities.
“We are committed to addressing issues of equity and inequality as we continuously work toward progress and change,” says WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery. “The Detroit Urban Summit Series provides a platform for the necessary conversations that will enable us to move toward achieving those goals.”
While this may be the inaugural event for The Detroit Urban Summit Series, WCCCD’s Institute for Social Progress has put on three large-scale national summits with other leaders to discuss issues that unequally affect urban communities, politics, and educational policies. Amid these conversations, a greater need was birthed. Economic disenfranchisement, the penal system, and literacy rates in Black and brown communities are all issues piloted by ISP and addressed as a part of the series.
The virtual event is on March 30, beginning at 10 a.m, and free and open to the public. Although the event is at no cost, guests are required to register. For more information or to register for the event, visit http://www.wcccd.edu/