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Open Buffalo hosting series of national speakers

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An organization called Open Buffalo is hosting a series of national speakers in the next few weeks to connect and engage our community. WBFO's Eileen Buckley says Tuesday evening's speaker will appear at Asbury Hall to discuss upward mobility, inequality, and the American Dream.

"Really an open community conversation where I will be talking about some of the major issues at which in some ways, Buffalo is at the forefront," said Heather McGhee,  vice president of policy and outreach at Demos in New York City.

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Heather C. McGhee is the Vice President of Policy and Outreach at Demos.

Demos is a non-profit, public policy organization  working too create an equal say in democracy and an equal chance in the economy.

"I think that there is a lot of reasons to be excited about what's going Buffalo and the important thing is to recognize that it's not just about new construction and new industries, because it doesn't matter if those new industries and construction jobs are not going to the people who really need them and who really stand to contribute to help contribute to Buffalo in the future," said McGhee. 

McGhee speaks about how communities can work through  mistrust issues and other historic inequalities.

"Some time period in our country we really all sort of all have a seat at the table in writing the rules of the road and as our economy has become more unequal and our democracy has become more unequal with those who are really well-organized, and already wealthy, and powerful and connected, having a bigger and bigger seat at the table, and just average working middle-class families feeling really shut out," said McGhee.

McGhee noted there is exciting work happening in Buffalo by several organizations to help make changes, such as PUSH Buffalo, Voice-Buffalo and The Partnership for the Public Good.

"Helping to give average citizens and immigrants a voice in shaping what Buffalo looks like," said McGhee. 

McGhee says across the country and in Buffalo there still remains segregation. She says it seems that there is a loss of how to integrate. 

McGhee speaks Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.