2020 Hutchins Forum - America's Racial Reckoning - The Pandemic(s) and the Election

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[2020 Hutchins Forum]
Author and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault led the panel to discuss their perceptions of equity and justice amid the concurrent pandemics, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. opened with the memory of the Honorable John Lewis, asking, “Must inequality and brutality be our national legacy?”
Photo: YouTube

On the eve of the 55th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into law, Neera Tanden joined the 2020 Hutchins Forum entitled, “America’s racial reckoning: the pandemic(s) and the elections.”

Author and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault led the panel to discuss their perceptions of equity and justice amid the concurrent pandemics, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. opened with the memory of the Honorable John Lewis, asking, “Must inequality and brutality be our national legacy?”

Tanden shared her personal experience with COVID-19 that forged deeper reflection on the inequitable access to the healthcare system “writ large.” Her thoughts echoed the research from CAP experts on long-term solutions for equity and justice. “I hope [the virus] creates a sense of shared fate,” Neera Tanden said, “and gives us a sense that we actually have to act collectively to solve these problems.” Failure to act, she added, affects the most vulnerable, specifically “people of color who do not have access to the health care system, who do not have the health care resources, day in and day out, that whites do.”

Tanden joined the following experts in conversation:

  • Charles Blow, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times
  • Donna Brazile, former interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
  • David Brooks, columnist at the New York Times
  • Shermichael Singleton, former contributing host of Vox Media’s “Consider It”
  • Vernon Jones, Georgia state representative
  • Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

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