We Can Be podcast - The Heinz Endowments

The radical imagination of PolicyLink founder Angela Glover Blackwell is building a more equitable world (S03EP08)

August 26, 2020

The very fact that our country is having a conversation about equity now is due in no small part to the groundbreaking work of Angela Glover Blackwell, who founded PolicyLink 20 years ago with a simple but profound aim: to advance racial and economic equity for all.


Doing just that has been her life’s work, first as a lawyer who founded Oakland, California’s  Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization, and later as senior vice president at The Rockefeller Foundation, where she headed their domestic and cultural programs.


She currently serves as Founder in Residence at PolicyLink, which has become one of the nation’s most respected policy and research entities. PolicyLink has been instrumental in building a potent broad-based movement for equity, engaging hundreds of partners in cities, suburbs, rural communities, and tribal lands across America.


Angela is co-author of “Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future,” and is an in-demand commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon and CNN. She is no stranger to podcasts either, having recently launched her own podcast, “Radical Imagination.”


Angela joins host Grant Oliphant to discuss The New York Times “Banks Should Face History and Pay Reparations” op-ed she co-authored; her upbringing in racially segregated St. Louis, Missouri; the lasting influence of PolicyLink’s Equity Atlas; and what the concept of “radical imagination” means to her.


“Radical imagination is fueling change,” Angela says. “And when we embrace it, true and transformational solidarity is possible.”


“We Can Be” is hosted by Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant, and produced by the Endowments, Josh Franzos and Tim Murray. Theme music by Josh Slifkin. Guest image courtesy of PolicyLink; photo credit, Peter DaSilva. Guest inquiries can be made to Scott Roller at sroller@heinz.org.

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