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Statue of Justice
Society and Community:
Angela Glover Blackwell
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David Brancaccio talks with Angela Glover Blackwell and Manuel Pastor, Jr., authors of SEARCHING FOR THE UNCOMMON COMMON GROUND: NEW DIMENSIONS ON RACE IN AMERICA.

Every day headlines shout attention to aspects of our discussions of race, e.g., Hispanics overtake blacks as the largest minority, bilingual education policies under attack, controversies over affirmative action and its substitutes, racial profiling, racial injustice, census categories, challenges to the notion of race as a valid characterization. These and other issues — some derived from our historical legacy, some a product of our dynamically changing present situation — call out for deliberations to seek common ground and avoid moving further away from a united America.



A renowned community building activist and advocate, Blackwell served as senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation where she oversaw the Foundation's Domestic and Cultural divisions. Blackwell also developed Rockefeller's Building Democracy division, which focused on race and policy, and created the Next Generation Leadership program. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, Blackwell was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm. She is the co-author of SEARCHING FOR THE UNCOMMON COMMON GROUND: NEW DIMENSIONS ON RACE IN AMERICA published in 2002.

In 1999, Blackwell founded PolicyLink, a national nonprofit research and advocacy organization. PolicyLink collaborates with a broad range of partners to implement strategies to ensure that everyone—including those from low-income communities of color—can contribute to and benefit from economic growth and prosperity. PolicyLink works on local, regional and state levels on issues of equitable public investment, the fair distribution of affordable housing, and community strategies to improve health.

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