Economic system

Final Webinar on Racism in America to Focus on the Economic System

The harsh economic realities and inequalities in the United States have been laid bare by the uneven impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have made big financial gains, but the losses are heaviest for those who can least afford it, highlighting the impact of racism on federal, state and local economic policies and outcomes.

In the final webinar of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) year-long series, “Racism in Americapanelists will focus on the many ways racism shapes economic policies and how economic policies shape inequality in America. The April 27 event at 7 p.m., in partnership with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, is free and open to the public. Registration is mandatory.

Hosted by a Washington Post reporter Tracy Jan, the webinar will feature four Cornell faculty experts who will examine the past and present relationship between racism and capitalism, and the uneven impact of COVID-19 on different sectors of the economy. Speakers will explore the intersection of labor history and racism, the roots of modern capitalism in racial oppression, and what key indicators of structural labor market racism say about post-pandemic and general conditions.

“When it comes to racism, our economic system is like an invisible thread that we know is there, but don’t always fully bring out. This webinar is our attempt to fully shed light on both the thread and the larger social tapestry based on race,” said Noliwe Rooks, WEB Du Bois Professor of African Studies and Director of the American Studies Program in A&S.

Jan covers the intersection of race and economics for The Washington Post, a beat she started in December 2016 that encompasses racial economic disparities, immigration, housing policy and other stories that stick businesses and politicians accountable for their decisions and promises. Her work has looked at reparations for slavery, systemic racism in America, and the economic and health impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black, Asian, Latino and immigrant communities.

The panelists:

  • Laurent Glickman holds the Stephen and Evalyn Milman Chair in American Studies in the Department of History (A&S). He is a core faculty member of the Capitalism History Initiative and the author or editor of five books, including “Free Enterprise: An American History” (2019) and “Purchasing Power : a history of consumer activism in America”.
  • Tejasvi Nagaraja is assistant professor of history at the ILR School. Her research and teaching explore the intersections of labor history and African-American and foreign relations. Nagaraja is writing a book about America’s experience and generation during World War II.
  • Erica Groshen is Senior Economics Advisor at the ILR Labor Dynamics Institute (ILR) and Research Fellow at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. She served as the 14th Commissioner of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics; previously, she was Vice President of the Research and Statistics Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His research has focused on jobless re-entries, wage rigidity and dispersion, and the role of employers in the labor market.
  • Rich Richardson is an Associate Professor of African Studies (A&S). Her areas of interest include African American Literature, American Studies, Black Feminism, Gender Studies, Southern Studies, Cultural Studies, and Critical Theory. Her books include “Black Masculinity and the US South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta” and “Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body”.

Co-organized by the American Studies Program, the “Racism in America” series is supported by Alumni Affairs and Development; Diversity alumni programs; and powered by eCornell. Other colleges have partnered with other webinars in the series.

Linda B. Glaser is head of news and media relations for the College of Arts & Sciences.