Engaged conversations about race and culture among business, philanthropic, and education leaders can positively impact the ways race, health, education and culture intersect and lead to solutions driven by intentional and purposeful investment. There is also a tangible business case that racial equity in Michigan could make a significant impact on the economy, according to a report released by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Altarum Institute.
During the Kellogg Foundation hosted lunch session about race, health, education and culture with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson, audience members were challenged to have in-depth conversations about issues of equality to foster an environment of progress. Robinson, of The Washington Post, spoke to the audience about focusing on early education as a means to strengthen the workforce of the future.
Robinson cited that Michigan has been a leader in early childhood education with innovative programming, but said that it is only the beginning of making a change in cultural perceptions. The key, he said, is a matter of remaining determined to do the right things for the future of the state.
Following the keynote, Robinson and Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White discussed the ways that investing in human capital will secure an engaged workforce in the future. Robinson has been encouraged by the work being done in Michigan saying that the opportunities are greater than the obstacles, and that going forward, the obstacles must be taken as they come. He expressed optimism that the conversations and connections created at the Conference about education and race will continue in Detroit and throughout the state.