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Heather McGhee, Racial Justice Activist, MSU’s Presidential Distinguished Speaker

Heather McGhee

By Peyton Miller with SGJC Student News Network

On March 9 at 11 a.m., Heather McGhee, an expert in American economy, most recently known for her viral TED Talk accumulating over a million views, and for New York Times best seller “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs us and How We Can Prosper Together,” will present during Morgan State's spring Presidential Distinguished Speaker Series.

McGhee is chair of the board of the Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. McGhee also played a key role in advising the Starbucks company during its anti-bias training for employees, after video surfaced of two black men being racially profiled at a Philadelphia location in 2018.

New York Times book reviewer Jennifer Szalai in February 2021 wrote of “The Sum of Us,” “There is a striking clarity to this book; there is also a depth of kindness in it that all but the most churlish readers will find moving.”

McGhee served as president for the non-partisan “think and do” tank Demos for four years and introduced the idea of debt-free college in the 2016 presidential debate, and also made a case for protection of voter rights before the U.S. Supreme Court.

McGhee is also known for her appearances in the media and content world. She can be found most often on news outlets such as NBC “Meet the Press,” where she most commonly is the voice for many working families with concerns, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and “Deadline.”

McGhee is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California Berkeley School of Law. She also earned honorary doctorates from Muhlenberg College and Niagara University.

The goal of the Presidential Distinguished Speaker Series is to highlight thought leaders from numerous professional backgrounds and provide thoughtful and provocative discussions on a platform that caters to Morgan State students, faculty, staff.

This event opens the floor to the audience, allowing them to get to know the speaker beyond the surface by providing time for Q & A after the lecture.

The writer is a student in the School of Global Journalism and Communication