UCSB Arts & Lectures presents author, advocate and public policy expert Heather McGhee to discuss The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together on Tuesday, May 4 at 5 p.m. Pacific

This virtual event is available for ticket holders to replay for one week


  • UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Heather McGhee
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
  • McGhee’s New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us, which reveals the devastating true cost of racism for everyone
  • This conversation with Dr. Sharon Tettegah, UC Santa Barbara professor and director of the Center for Black Studies Research, will be followed by a Q&A.
  • Part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Race to Justice series
  • Ticket holders will be able to replay this event for one week
  • Tuesday, May 4 / 5 p.m. Pacific / Virtual
  • $10 General Public and FREE for UCSB Students (registration required)
  • Tickets/Info: (805) 893-3535, www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu

▶ ▶ ▶ Editors/Reviewers: Please include the full name of UCSB Arts & Lectures in all media coverage, including reviews.


“Now more than ever today, racial division as a tool wielded by those who are the most wealthy, the most powerful, and the most self-interested… makes us demonize one another when, in fact, we should be linking arms to improve all of our lives.” 

– Heather McGhee


UCSB Arts & Lectures presents author, advocate and public policy expert Heather McGhee to discuss The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together on Tuesday, May 4 at 5 p.m. Pacific. Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy – and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. She played a leadership role in steering the historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and was one of the key advocates credited for the adoption of the Volcker Rule. McGhee’s compassionate and deeply-stirring New York Times bestseller, The Sum of Us, reveals the devastating true cost of racism for everyone and offers an actionable roadmap during one of the most critical – and most troubled – periods in history.

This conversation with Dr. Sharon Tettegah, UC Santa Barbara professor and director of the Center for Black Studies Research, will be followed by a Q&A.

The virtual event is part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Race to Justice series. 




A renowned expert on the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Both her viral TED talk and her instant New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us reveal the devastating true cost of racism – not just for people of color, but for everyone. McGhee explores what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm – the idea that progress for some, comes at the expense of others – and illuminates how racism is at the root of some of the nation’s most vexing public problems, from collapsing infrastructure to rising student debt.

The Sum of Us has been endorsed by bestselling authors Ibram X. Kendi and Elizabeth Gilbert, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza dubbed it “a must read for everyone who wants to understand how we got here, but more importantly, where we can go from here – and how we get there, together.”

As the former president of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, McGhee has drafted legislation, testified before Congress and become a regular contributor on shows like Meet the Press and Real Time with Bill Maher. She also led Demos’ own racial equity organizational transformation, resulting in a doubling of the organization’s racial diversity and growth across all measures of organizational impact. Her conversation on a C-SPAN program in 2016 with a white man who asked for her help to overcome his racial prejudice went viral, receiving more than 10 million views and sparking wide media coverage that included a New York Times op-ed, a New Yorker piece and a CNN town hall.

McGhee holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. She is the chair of the Board of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, and serves on multiple other boards of trustees, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Demos. 


Sharon Tettegah is a faculty in the UC Santa Barbara Department of Black Studies and Director for the Center for Black Studies Research. Professor Tettegah has over 86 publications, and previously served as Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Program Chair of Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching and Agency in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also held an appointment in cognitive neuroscience in bio-intelligence at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and was a research scientist and affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). 

Tettegah’s research centers on the intersection of STEM learning, emotions, equity and social justice. She was also a program director in 2010-2012 at the National Science Foundation, where she managed five programs in the Directorates of Education and Human Resources, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and an NSF cross-cutting program on Science, Engineering, Education for Sustainability (SEES). She is the series editor for Emotions and Technology with Elsevier, Academic Psychology Division.


Race to Justice: This is a moment of reckoning. As a nation, we are confronting evidence of inequality that reaches every corner of society. Arts & Lectures has a history of bringing complex issues to the forefront. Now, we are spearheading an in-depth look at systemic racism from every angle, including abolition, underlying conditions, reparations, criminal justice and more. Interdisciplinary and cross-departmental, this season-long series engages leading activists, creatives and thinkers to expand our understanding of racism and how race impacts society and to inspire an expansive approach to advancing racial equality. 


Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Arts & Lectures annually presents more than a hundred events, from critically-acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public. 


Heather McGhee is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Part of the Race to Justice series.  

Tickets are $10 for the general public and FREE for UCSB students (registration required)

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.  

Race to Justice Lead Sponsors: Marcy Carsey, Connie Frank & Evan Thompson, Patty & John MacFarlane, Sara Miller McCune, Santa Barbara Foundation, Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin, Dick Wolf, and Zegar Family Foundation. 

Race to Justice UC Santa Barbara Campus Partners: Department of Black Studies, Center for Black Studies Research, Division of Social Sciences, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences, Division of Student Affairs, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Graduate Division, Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, College of Creative Studies, College of Engineering, MultiCultural Center, Carsey-Wolf Center, The Program in Latin American and Iberian Studies, UCSB Library | UCSB Reads, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. 

Race to Justice Media Sponsors: Santa Barbara Independent, KCRW, Voice Magazine, Noozhawk.

Most Race to Justice events are hour-long programs and include an audience Q&A. 

Race to Justice events are FREE for UCSB students (registration required). 

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges our Community Partners the Natalie Orfalea Foundation & Lou Buglioli for their generous support of the 2020-2021 season. 

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