PuLSE Institute editor-in-chief to moderate Economic Club poverty forum

DETROIT, MI, USA Feb. 7, 2019- The Detroit Economic Club, which for more than a century has provided a “platform for distinguished international dignitaries and business leaders, who represent the changing global environment to explore issues that will help shape the dynamic 21st century economic environment,” will host a forum to discuss poverty and inequality in urban America on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Masonic Temple in Midtown.


Steve Grigorian, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Club

DEC president and CEO Steve Grigorian, has invited Bankole Thompson, editor-in-chief of The PuLSE Institute, Detroit’s non-partisan and independent anti-poverty think tank to serve as the moderator of the poverty conversation. Thompson, who is an opinion columnist at The Detroit News, where he writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture, has a knack for asking penetrating and probing questions and his writings make a compelling case against the growth of economic inequality as the great moral issue of our time. 

The forum titled, “The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America,” will feature Alan Mallach, a nationally renowned expert on urban poverty and economic inequality issues and the author of the latest book “The Divided City.” The book according to the DEC “offers strategies to foster greater equality and opportunity” in urban cities. Also, on the panel will be Maurice Cox, the planning and development director for the city of Detroit. DEC notes that Cox “has a reputation for developing bold–yet achievable–plans that become tools for civic discourse and empowerment, embraced by diverse sectors of the community.”

Tuesday’s forum before an audience of business leaders and some of the region’s influencers is bound to ignite a lot of interest at a time when Detroit is at the crossroads on the issue of poverty. The city leads the nation among big cities on poverty according to the Census. Whether city leaders are moving with full speed to tackle the difficult issue of inequality in the current recovery remains an open question for the administration of Mayor Mike Duggan.


Bankole Thompson moderates a conversation with Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for American Progress

Next week’s forum will be the second time Thompson has been invited to be a moderator at the Detroit Economic Club. In March of 2017, he moderated DEC’s forum at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham on “Trump Economics and It’s Impact on the Middle Class.” That forum featured Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, a Washington D.C. think tank, who spoke about the Affordable Care Act, federal infrastructure bill and wage suppression as a result of globalization.

DEC meetings are must-attend functions for members of the business community in Michigan because the group has hosted every U.S. President since Richard Nixon, and speakers who have graced its podium include CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, U.S. Cabinet members, and other senior state and national government officials as well as thought leaders across the spectrum.

In an interview last year with Corp magazine, Grigorian, the DEC leader, underscored why the organization is a conversational platform for change makers.

“Changemakers and thought leaders already know the importance of our region and the city of Detroit to America’s economy. It’s one reason why U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chose to address DEC members fresh off the recent Singapore summit,” Grigorian said. “My job is to make sure the DEC stays top of mind with these leaders and policymakers so there is no question what forum they think of when it’s time to deliver a message to the American people.  At the same time, it’s important to bring a variety of voices to the DEC podium to provide members with the first-hand, unfiltered access they expect.”

For more information visit www.econclub.org

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