10:00 am EST - 11:30 am EST

Past Event

Seeing and reaching others

A discussion about the power of recognition and belonging to strengthen divided societies

Monday, March 04, 2024

10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC

How do we decide and convey who is seen and valued—recognized—in a diverse, changing, and often divided society? Brookings hosted a discussion on the impacts of recognition and a sense of belonging on our politics, economy, and culture; as well as learning from innovative approaches to change—including civic engagement and communication that goes beyond narrow identity frames and triggers less zero-sum thinking—and renewed efforts to bridge divides in regions, such as the American South, with particularly long legacies, symbols, and narratives of exclusion. These topics were inspired by an important new book and the conversation will extend from there to the frontiers of philanthropy and challenges of civil rights advocacy in the current moment.

Renowned Harvard sociologist Michèle Lamont is the author of “Seeing Others: How Recognition Works—and How It Can Heal a Divided World.” For nearly 40 years, she has conducted seminal research on inequality, dignity, and belonging, from the wealthy, immigrant magnet nations of the global North—especially North America and Europe, where nativist politics has surged anew—to Brazil and other nations. Lamont’s new book, focused on the U.S., draws on in-depth interviews with young adults, change agents, and cultural icons ranging from Nikole Hannah-Jones and Cornel West to comedians, philanthropists, community organizers, communications experts, business reformers, and others.

Joining Lamont in this talk-show style conversation were David Hsu, who directs the Omidyar Network’s portfolio on Building Cultures of Belonging and was formerly at Hollywood-based cultural consultant Propper Daley and the grassroots campaign start-up NationBuilder, Judy Reese Morse, president and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana and former deputy mayor of New Orleans and former director of new audience development for National Public Radio, and, as moderator, Brookings Senior Fellow Xavier ‘Xav’ de Souza Briggs, former vice president of Ford Foundation and award-winning author and educator on themes of racial equity, democracy as problem solving, and creating inclusive economies.

Registration is required to attend an event in person and guests at Brookings are required to attest to their state of health before attending. Visitors may not enter the building if they are feeling ill for any reason, have any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19 at any time in the preceding 5 days or longer in accordance with current CDC guidance, or have been advised by their healthcare professional or otherwise to not enter any space where some persons may not be vaccinated.