Presentation: How Capitalism Is Designed to Kill (Most of) You
Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. — Iowa City Public Library | View Schedule
Free and open to the public
Existing in This Economy (Workshop)
As inequality grows to historic heights, the mechanisms to change the distribution of wealth, and the people who wield the most economic power over us, become increasingly obscure. What are the trends that are driving inequality? Who is responsible for them? And how do we make change?
Based on almost a decade on working on economic justice issues internationally and domestically, including leading a ground-breaking campaign targeting the Federal Reserve, Shawn Sebastian will lay out a few of the most important factors driving inequality according to our best economic thinkers — the decline of unionization, the rise of financialization, and corporate concentration, so that we can better understand the landscape. Then Shawn will describe his experience leading an unlikely campaign bringing low-income workers of color into the most exclusive, secretive conversations on the direction of the global economy and crashing the parties of the most powerful bankers in the world. With this overview of the issues and examples of some real-life successful tactics, we will workshop ways to build locally-rooted economic justice campaigns that are relevant to the lives of working people and can effectively take on concentrated wealth and power.
How Capitalism Is Designed to Kill (Most of) You (Presentation)
Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed Up Campaign, has spend nearly a decade working on economic justice issues internationally and domestically, including leading a ground-breaking campaign targeting the Federal Reserve. In addition to a workshop developing tangible ways to build locally-rooted economic justice campaigns, Sebastian will give a talk on how the roots of inequality and racism are intertwined — how American capitalism couldn’t exist without racism, and how racism continues to be used as a tool to further economic policies that drive inequality.
Shawn Sebastian is an attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy, a network of 50 community-based organizations which works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.
Shawn co-directs the Fed Up Campaign, helping to bring the voices of working class people of color to the previously closed off policy debates about monetary policy and Federal Reserve governance. Before joining CPD, Shawn worked at the Best Practices Foundation in Bangalore, India, providing research, writing and policy support to organized federations of grassroots women’s movements on issues of poverty alleviation and women’s rights. Shawn then worked on issues of gentrification and slum housing in South Los Angeles at Esperanza Community Housing Corporation and immediately prior to joining CPD, Shawn was a fellow with the Anti-Corruption Unit at the Open Society Foundations’ Justice Initiative. Shawn graduated from New York University School of Law and the University of Iowa.