Speaker Series: Building Equitable Communities | United Way Salt Lake
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We live in a world that is fundamentally inequitable.

The question is, with so much work to be done to address rampant inequities, where do we begin? We can start by including more voices in the conversations. We can unpack and disrupt traditional ways of thinking. We can challenge institutions and devise new ways of viewing our world. And we can cultivate opportunities that enable all of us to thrive.   

Event Information

This year’s three-part Speaker Series includes former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education, Jim Shelton who joined us in March, systems change leader Hugh Vasquez who will join us on August 11, and author Anand Giridharadas who will join us on October 27. Each will share their ideas for working together in challenging systems of exclusion, marginalization, and oppression.

Join us for three candid and focused discussions led by Bill Crim, President and CEO of United Way of Salt Lake, each followed by an audience Q&A. The in-person events will be preceded by meet and greet receptions where community members can connect with Hugh Vasquez and Anand Giridharadas before the discussions.

Jim Shelton - Free | Single Program Tickets - $10 | Speaker Series Package - $30




March 11, 2021 | Jim Shelton
Power of Place
Thank you for joining us!
Listen to the Audio Recording >

August 11, 2021 | Hugh Vasquez
Transformative Leadership for Equity

Salt Lake Community College
Grand Theatre on the South City Campus
5:30 p.m.| Meet and Greet Reception with Hugh Vasquez
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. |  Presentation and Q&A

October 27, 2021 | Anand Giridharadas
Salt Lake Community College
Grand Theatre on the South City Campus
5:30 p.m.| Meet and Greet Reception with Anand Girirdharadas
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. |  Presentation and Q&A

*Event subject to be virtual, based on COVID-19 protocols.

About the Speakers

Jim Shelton headshot

Jim Shelton

Jim Shelton is the Chief Impact and Investment Officer at Blue Meridian Partners, a philanthropic vehicle to identify and scale solutions to the problems trapping youth and their families in poverty. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to KKR and is a nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Jim was the co-founder of Amandla Enterprises and the former Deputy Secretary of Education and founding Executive Director of My Brother’s Keeper under President Barack Obama.

Jim has worked in business, government, and the non-profit sectors as an operator, investor, and entrepreneur. In these roles, he has utilized management, policy, and programmatic innovations to increase access to opportunity. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Morehouse College and master’s degrees in both business administration and education from Stanford University. He’ll be joining us to share his thoughts on The Power of Place.

Currently, he lives in his hometown - Washington, DC - with his wife and two sons.

Hugh Vasquez Provile

Hugh Vasquez

Hugh Vasquez is one of the country's top equity and diversity educators and a consultant to campuses and organizations working towards creating healthy multicultural environments. In the past 20 plus years, Vasquez has worked with hundreds of organizations and schools who want to take on the challenges of eliminating the social conditions that produce racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and the like. He has been in, advised, or directed several films including “The Color of Fear,” “Skin Deep,” “It’s Elementary” and “New Bridges.” He has also co-authored the books No Boundaries: Unlearning Oppression and Building Multicultural Alliances and Making Allies, Making Friends: A Curriculum For Middle Schools, and is a contributing author of the book Psychotherapy with Women: Exploring Diverse Contexts and Identities. Currently, Vasquez is a Senior Associate at the National Equity Project, a partner with the Center for Diversity Leadership and founder and former Director of TODOS Institute in Oakland, CA.

Anand Giridharadas Headshot

Anand Giridharadas

Anand Giridharadas is the author of the New York Times best seller Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, The True American, and India Calling. He is an editor-at-large for TIME, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and the author of the newsletter The.Ink. He was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016, and has also written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New Republic. He is a former McKinsey analyst, an Aspen Institute fellow, a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and has spoken on the main stage of TED. He appears regularly on TV and the radio in the United States and globally, including on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, “Morning Joe,” and “The Daily Show.” He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Priya Parker, and two children.


The remaining two Speaker Series will be hosted at Salt Lake Community College. Purchase a single event ticket for $10 or attend both Hugh Vasquez and Anand Girirdharadas for $30 with the Speaker Series Package.

All virtual events will be live-captioned.


* United Way of Salt Lake is providing a limited number of complimentary tickets for community members as well as discounted tickets for students. Contact us at events@uw.org for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines:

United Way of Salt Lake is taking safety at our event seriously. To promote the health and wellbeing of attendees and staff we request that:

• attendees who have not been vaccinated wear a mask, and

• anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is waiting for COVID-19 test results, has COVID-19 symptoms, or has had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home.


• This event is wheelchair accessible 

• This event will have assisted listening devices for rent 

Continuing on Previous Years of Conversation

United Way of Salt Lake’s Speaker Series aims to include more voices in conversations, disrupt traditional ways of thinking, and challenge institutions to cultivate opportunities that enable everyone to thrive. Listen and learn from our previous speakers:

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