Equity Summit 2018

Equity Summit 2018: Our Power. Our Future. Our Nation.

Equity summits amplify the significant achievements and strategic breakthroughs of the equity movement, allowing us to learn from each other, strengthen our movement, and accelerate progress.

On Chicago April 11 – 13, we will explore the complexity and urgency of building a multiracial coalition at this pivotal moment for our nation. Solidarity with the emerging people of color majority is essential to redress past harms, embrace inclusion, build an equitable economy, and model true democracy. At the Summit, we will focus on practice and policy, politics and power—the ingredients needed for transformative change. The equity movement is stronger than ever, bolstered by our combined resistance to assaults on hard-earned victories and nuanced by our deeper understanding of intersectionality and the interconnectedness of issues.

Our plenaries will be live-streamed. An email will be sent to the PolicyLink network and promoted on social media, in early April.

Plenaries are the cornerstones of the Summit, featuring visionary leaders whose wisdom and insight set the tone for discussion, situate the equity agenda in the national context, and inspire participants to push the boundaries of their work. Embodying the Summit’s central theme — Our Power. Our Future. Our Nation. — the following plenaries call on equity advocates to recognize and claim the power to radically shape the nation's future and their role in it.

Our Power: Radical Imagination Fueling Change

Radical imagination — the audacity that drives us to envision a new and better world — has been the kindling that sparks activism within communities of color for generations. It is this force for creativity, hope, and resilience that sustains us in the face of injustice, and it must now embolden equity leaders to step into their power in new and expansive ways. This plenary will feature innovators from multiple fields who are wielding instruments of influence — media, technology, business, government — to deliver equity wins at scale. Their work exemplifies the courage and radical imagination necessary to translate bold visions into liberating impact for low-income communities and communities of color.

Our Future: The Leading Edge of the Equity Movement

To realize the full power of equity, we must push beyond reform to transformation. Rapidly changing dynamics within the realms of technology, work, politics, and the environment provide the opportunity and the imperative for advocates to shape America’s future and claim the 21st century for equity. At the same time, the future of the equity movement will be forged in the dismantling of outdated and oppressive structures that hold the nation back, and the radical reimagining of systems that foster inclusion, ownership, and shared prosperity. In this plenary, speakers will map the leading edge of the equity movement in light of ongoing innovation, transition, and challenge across sectors.

Our Nation: Transformative Solidarity in a Divided Nation

Our fates are inextricably linked. Solidarity across social movements, cultures, races, and ethnicities is the antidote to oppression, hate, and racism. Equity is the surest path to realizing the nation's best potential by unlocking avenues for collaboration and mutual understanding. This plenary will explore the urgent task of forging complex coalitions in an era of political turmoil. How can we build on the success of past activists, while remaining cognizant of the new and challenging demands of the future?