Photograph of Author and Speaker Heather McGhee. Courtesy of Central New York Community Foundation Vice President, Communications Katrina Crocker

The Central New York Community Foundation is hosting an hourlong talk with New York Times bestselling author Heather McGhee in recognition of the National Day of Racial Healing.

The talk will be held virtually on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in collaboration with community foundations based in Buffalo, Rochester and Albany.

McGhee wrote The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and how we can Prosper, a book about what she has learned about systemic racism through her cross-country travel.

“By talking about the exploration she did throughout the country and the people that she met and talked to, that she will help bring insight to the community on how we can heal from racism and how we can move forward,” said Katrina Crocker, Central New York Community Foundation’s Vice President Communications.

Each of the foundations have been trying to work toward improving equity, Crocker said.

The Community Foundation hopes McGhee’s talk sheds light on structural racism in Upstate New York and ways the region can end structural racism.

“We know that racism impacts Central New York, right?” says, Crocker “It’s woven in the structures of our schools and workplaces, our economic situation, and our health and living conditions.”

McGhee’s work has been recognized on a number of national media outlets, such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal. USA Today, and a host of other outlets.

The event will consist of a 40 minute discussion with McGhee and conclude with a 20 minute Q & A style engagement.

Attendees interested in this event are encouraged to pre-register online at  

“Hopefully by bringing this conversation to the table, we will see investments made in our communities,” Crocker said.

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