Wealth, income and political inequality affect all of us in ways large and small and in ways that are not always obvious. Focus on Fairness is a series of events that grew out of a six-week Understanding Income Inequality class offered earlier this year. The class addressed topics such as the vanishing middle class, government’s role in wealth distribution and creative solutions to reducing the number of working poor. More than 70 people attended part or all of the classes.
Participants in the class recognized the need for continuing conversation and education on the topic. Jim Black and Mike Brodd, two of the class organizers, explained that people wanted to have the discussion in a broader community context.
According to Black, “Many people are noticing the disparity in our culture, the working poor that are around them, and they’re beginning to ask important questions. Why is it this way? Does it have to be this way? Is this who we are as Americans? Is it the direction we want to continue in, and, if not, how do we change it? What are the ethics involved?”
Focus on Fairness is a series of three events. All events are free and open to the public.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 pm, Dr. Dylan Fitz, assistant professor of Economics at Lawrence University, kicks off the series with “Opening the Door on Economic Inequality: The reality and social implications of wealth disparity.”
The second, keynote event takes place Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7 pm. Nationally known speaker Chuck Collins presents “Born on Third Base: A one-percenter makes the case for tackling inequality, bringing wealth home, and committing to the common good.”
Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and is the great-grandson of Oscar Mayer, one of America’s iconic industrialists. Collins, an engaging speaker, grew up in the top one percent. At age 26, he gave his inheritance away and has become one of the nation’s leading thinkers and activists on solving inequality. Collins is known to many for his TED talks and the numerous books he’s written on the subject of inequality.
The final Focus on Fairness event is a candidate forum. Candidates for local and state office discuss fairness, wealth inequality and how we can increase economic opportunity in Door County. This event occurs Saturday, Oct. 27, 7 pm.
Focus on Fairness events are sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, with support from the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community. All events take place at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.
For more information, email Black at [email protected] or see the Facebook page Focus on Fairness, Door County.