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Pandemic, Prejudice & Protests
T.R.M. Howard and a Better Urban America
Friday, June 5, 2020

The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has sparked a massive reaction. Peaceful protests are clearly justified. Lawless and opportunistic riots, arson, theft, injuries, and killings are not. At the same time, it is obvious that weeks of COVID-19 fallout coupled with Floyd’s death have put a spotlight on the challenges and desperation that were already afflicting many of our urban communities.

Some argue that socialist nostrums like expanded government provision of services, reparations, and even government takeover of the economy are the answer. But is there a better way—a pathway of reform that addresses the systematic deprivation and hardship suffered by too many urban and minority citizens?

This event features Independent Institute Executive Director Dr. Graham H. Walker and Independent Research Fellow David T. Beito for a discussion based on Dr. Beito's award-winning Independent Institute biography (with Linda Royster Beito), T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, and Civil Rights Pioneer. He will explore how the life and insights of this extraordinary black business and civil-rights leader point everyone in the right direction: he founded black community organizations, organized civil rights rallies and boycotts, championed free enterprise, critiqued Big Government and socialism, mentored Medgar Evers, fought the Ku Klux Klan, and helped lead the fight for justice for Emmett Till and others. Raised in poverty and a witness to racial violence from a young age, Howard was passionate about freedom, justice and equality.

Graham H. Walker
Graham H. Walker is Executive Director and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in public law and government from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Walker has served as Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), Senior Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute, Headmaster at Oaks Christian School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, President at Patrick Henry College, Legislative Aide to former Congressman David Stockman, and Fellow at the Presidio Institute.
David T. Beito
David T. Beito is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of History at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin, and he is the recipient of the Ellis Hawley Prize. Professor Beito is the author of T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, and Civil Rights Pioneer (with Linda Royster Beito), Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression, and From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967. Former President of the Alabama Scholars Association and Chair of the Alabama State Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Professor Beito is the Founder of the Liberty and Power blog at the History News Network.

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