McGhee to deliver MLK address

Published February 21, 2024

Heather McGhee.

Heather McGhee

New York Times bestselling author Heather McGhee, whose first book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” was longlisted for the National Book Award, will speak on Feb. 28 as UB’s 48th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration keynote speaker.

The talk will take place at 7 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

The lecture is sponsored by the Minority Faculty and Staff Association.

McGhee’s “The Sum of Us” spent 10 weeks on “The New York Times” bestseller list and was also longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. The book explores what we lose when we buy into the “zero-sum” paradigm — the idea that progress for some comes at the expense of others. Her deeply personal experiences traveling across America illuminate how racism is at the root of some of our most vexing public problems, from collapsing infrastructure to rising student debt.

An expert in economic and social policy, McGhee for nearly two decades helped build the nonpartisan think tank Demos, serving as its president for four years. She now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization.

Tickets for McGhee’s lecture range from $25 to $45 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or in person at the Center for the Arts box office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

For more information, visit the Distinguished Speakers Series website.