AIF Blog

Let's Talk About Race

Feb 07, 2018
CATEGORY: Society, U.S.A.

Journalist Michele Norris speaks with philanthropists Jeff Raikes and Darren Walker at the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Jeff Raikes, former CEO of the Gates Foundation, says the key to real social justice in America is to have tough conversations about race. He's the first to admit he's the product of privilege. "I was born white, male, in the United States, and I was born heterosexual," he says. Raised on a farm in Nebraska, it wasn't until he left to attend college at Stanford that he realized his lucky lot in life. "Privilege is invisible to those who possess it," he says.

This conversation between Raikes, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, and Michele Norris, director of The Bridge at the Aspen Institute, highlights the importance of a personal story. By talking openly about race, they say, we can break down barriers that exacerbate inequality and threaten democracy.


"Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.