March 10, 2021

A Conversation about The Sum of Us & the Costs of Racism with Heather McGhee, Dr. Carmen Rojas and Tom Perriello

The Sum of Us, the Costs of Racism and Funding Racial Equity as Remedy: A Conversation with Heather McGhee, Dr. Carmen Rojas and Tom Perriello

Join us for a candid conversation between Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us and Tom Perriello, Executive Director of the Open Society Foundations, moderated by Dr. Carmen Rojas, President and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation. McGhee’s recently released book, The Sum of Us, provides a critical analysis of zero-sum policymaking which creates the false choice between some of us being ok and all of us being better off. Together they will explore the destructive dealings of white-supremacist policymaking and the role progressive philanthropy can play in disrupting these practices in service of the sum of us.

The Sum of Us is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructive, the richest country in the world, yet vastly unequal. It is a tapestry of stories about people living in the U.S. yearning to be a part of a better America, including those who have both benefited from and experienced the consequences of white supremacy: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this urgent message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a vision for the future of our country where we finally realize that life can be so much more than zero-sum.


Dr. Carmen Rojas

President and CEO
Marguerite Casey Foundation

Dr. Carmen Rojas is the president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, and co-founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab. For more than 20 years, she has worked with foundations, financial institutions and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the United States. Dr. Rojas holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007.


Heather McGhee

The Sum of Us

Heather McGhee is an expert in economic and social policy. The former president of the think tank Demos, McGhee has drafted legislation, testified before Congress and contributed regularly to news shows including NBC’s Meet the Press. She now chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. McGhee holds a B.A. in American studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Tom Perriello

Executive Director
Open Society Foundations


Tom Perriello is executive director of Open Society-U.S., which supports efforts to advance equality, fairness and justice with a focus on marginalized communities in the United States. Perriello has dedicated his career to organizations and campaigns fighting injustice, climate change, economic inequality and crimes against humanity. He also served as a member of Congress (VA-05) and advanced robust policies during his campaign for addressing the racial wealth gap, reproductive health, resurgent monopolies and corruption. Perriello is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.

Latest Posts

Back to Recent News