The Reality of the Rural/Urban Divide

THU, AUG 13, 2020 (00:00)

Divides – economic, racial, cultural, and educational, to name just a few – exist between communities across the country. But the perceived divide between rural and urban areas has been a lightening rod for our national conversation over the past several years. Setti Warren, in conversation with two journalists working at both ends of this spectrum; a Harvard economist who studies regional economic divides; and author and Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center, Tara Westover will dig into what is real about the divide between rural and urban America, and where we actually find more commonalities than differences across these communities.

Image credit: Pexels

+ BIO: Setti Warren

Setti D. Warren served as Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts from January 1, 2010 to January 1 2018. He was the first African-American to be a popularly-elected mayor in Massachusetts. After graduating from Boston College, he began an extensive career in public service, serving as special assistant in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President Bill Clinton; as New England director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and as deputy state director for Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA). Prior to running for mayor, Mayor Warren completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq as a naval intelligence specialist.

He served on the advisory board of the United States Conference of Mayors, chairing the organization’s community housing and development committee. Mayor Warren is also a life member of The Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of Discovering Justice. He is currently the Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

+ BIO: Tara Westover

Tara Westover is the author of the award winning memoir, Educated, and joined Harvard’s Kennedy School as a Shorenstein fellow in 2020.

+ BIO: Gordon Hanson

Gordon Hanson is the Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Hanson received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1992 and his B.A. in economics from Occidental College in 1986. Prior to joining Harvard in 2020, he held the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at UC San Diego, where he was founding director of the Center on Global Transformation. Hanson previously served on the economics faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Texas.

In his scholarship, Hanson specializes in international trade, international migration and economic geography. He has published extensively in top economics journals, is widely cited for his research by scholars from across the social sciences and is frequently quoted in major media outlets. Hanson’s current research addresses how globalization in the form of immigration and expanded trade with China have affected U.S. local labor markets. In a new endeavor, he is working with a multidisciplinary team of scholars to use satellite imagery to assess the impacts of expanding transportation networks, exposure to extreme weather, and related events on urban economic activity.

+ BIO: Phillip Martin

Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for The WGBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, is a multi-award winning journalist. Honors include the 2019 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting, the National Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Sigma Delta Chi award for Best Investigative Reporting and the 2014 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Investigative Reporting. He is also the recipient of the 2013 New York Festivals Gold Award and the 2013 United Nations UNDPI Gold Award. He was part of a team of reporters that was honored in 2002 with a George Foster Peabody Award to NPR for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. He has received numerous other journalism and civic engagement honors over the course of his career including AP, NABJ, regional Edward R. Murrow, AAJA, Rueban Salazar, Gabriel, Prized Pieces, PRNDI, Harry Chapin and Clarion awards. WGBH also awarded Phillip one of its highest honors, the Margret and Hans Rey Producer of the Year Award (2011-2012).

Phillip was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and most recently a Pulitzer-Center grantee (2018). He has also received fellowships from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the U.S. Japan Media Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and the Poynter Institute. He is the recipient of two major Ford Foundation grants and reporting grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Paul Robeson Fund. Phillip earned a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and studied international protection of human rights law at Harvard Law School as well as journalism at the University of California at Berkeley in the Program for Minority Journalists.

Phillip hosted the highly praised podcast, Heat and Light, produced by The Conversation about key events that shaped the year 1998. He worked as a supervising senior editor for NPR from 2003 to 2006 and was NPR’s first national race-relations correspondent from 1998 to 2001. He was executive producer for Lifted Veils Productions, a nonprofit public radio journalism project that he developed “dedicated to exploring issues that divide and unite society”. His Color Initiative, an occasional series of reports about the global impact of skin color, aired on The World from 2007 to 2010.

He is a contributing reporter to PRI’s The World, a co-production of WGBH, the BBC, PRX and PRI; a program, which he helped develop as a senior producer in 1995 and Phillip is an advisory board member for the Groundtruth Project and the Economic Hardship Project.

+ BIO: Connor Sheets

Connor Sheets is an investigative reporter with an eye on criminal justice & civil rights for the Alabama Media Group and part of the 2019 ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Follow Connor on Twitter @ConnorASheets.

Partner
Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Series
America’s Economic Experience