Tuesday, June 23, 2020 – The Shorenstein Center hosted a conversation with Tara Westover, author of the award winning memoir, Educated, Gene Sperling, author of the new book Economic Dignity and Former Director of the National Economic Council For Presidents Clinton and Obama, and Setti Warren, Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center, on what’s really happening economically to people in communities across America. Many media organizations and elite institutions continue to promote GDP, stock market and unemployment metrics as leading indicators on the health of the economy. Yet, we know these measures do not reflect the economic reality for millions of people across America. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests against structural racism have highlighted the gap between how the economy is portrayed in the media and by elite institutions, and the reality that people live every day. We will discuss this gap between perception and reality, how it is playing out across the country, and the impacts it has.
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is kicking off a new initiative to address the gap between how people across the country experience economic opportunity, and how the economy is portrayed and understood by the media, government, and elite institutions. This is the first in a series of events and conversations around these topics planned for this summer and fall.