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UA Little Rock to Host Author Heather McGhee in Inaugural Inclusive and Inspiring Speaker Series on April 13

Author Heather McGhee
Author Heather McGhee

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will kick off its inaugural Inclusive and Inspiring Speaker Series with best-selling author Heather McGhee Wednesday, April 13.

The virtual conversation, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. McGhee, a political commentator and racial justice advocate, will discuss her award-winning book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.”

McGhee is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Her book, “The Sum of Us,” was on the Washington Post and TIME magazine must-read list in 2021.

“The Inclusive and Inspiring Speaker Series is intended to be an annual opportunity for our campus community to hear from a variety of voices on subjects that advance our understanding around issues of national and global importance,” said Chancellor Christina Drale.

Dr. Melvin Beavers, the chancellor’s inaugural DEI fellow, and Lauren Wilson, assistant director of the Multicultural Center, will join McGhee in a discussion about her book, work as an educator, and research on the racial and socioeconomic factors that drive systemic inequality.

“We are looking forward to hosting Heather McGhee” Dr. Beavers said. “Her book is a must read for anyone interested in furthering the conversation around social justice issues because she primarily focuses on how systemic racism impacts everyone negatively.”

McGhee is a visiting lecturer in urban studies at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies. A leader in organizational change and racial equity, she has a strong track record in transforming companies and institutions looking to deepen their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. McGhee is the chair of the board of Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, and also serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Society Foundations’ US Programs and Demos. She is the recipient of honorary degrees from Muhlenberg College, Niagara University, and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.

McGhee’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Politico. She has made frequent appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Deadline White House,” and “All In.” For more information about Heather McGhee, please visit

An audience question-and-answer session will follow the live discussion. Registration is required. Participants may register for the event and submit questions for McGhee via this link.

The event is sponsored by the UA Little Rock Multicultural Center, Diversity Council, and the Office of the Chancellor. Email for more information.