I hope this note finds you safe and well. The holidays are always a time for good family conversations. Sometimes they’re funny; sometimes they’re difficult. But they’re always real.
After a year roiled by a global pandemic and a racial reckoning, those conversations probably look and sound different this holiday season. We had one of our own talks recently in partnership with our friends at Chevrolet, and I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s the most important thing we’ve done all year: “Real Talk, Real Change,” a special edition of The Carlos Watson Show.
I truly believe that the 2020s will be the new 1960s, and that we are going to rethink everything from politics to love to technology to race relations. I was excited to gather some of America’s most compelling thinkers, leaders and activists to start these hard conversations with an examination of the American Dream. When you bring together voices like NBA star–turned–philanthropist Jalen Rose, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, TV host Megyn Kelly, comedian Aida Rodriguez and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, you know there are going to be surprising and valuable insights.
I was particularly taken by the debate between Kasich and Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. over how the working-class white experience compares to that of African Americans. I was moved to hear activist and actor Jasmine Davis talk about selling drugs on the streets of Chicago because there were few compelling options for her. Meanwhile, author and modern philosopher Ta-Nehisi Coates challenged me by questioning the notion of the American Dream itself. I was heartened to hear Gates’ optimism about rethinking capitalism and psychologist Angela Duckworth’s take on paving pathways to success.
This is only the beginning. I hope you’ll join us as we have more discussions about the best ways to positively move our country forward, to bring Real Change at a time when it’s urgently needed. As we continue our discussions on health, education and what it means to be an ally, we want to hear from you: Please send me your best ideas for how we can all #ResetAmerica with #RealChange in 2021. I’m looking forward to receiving your suggestions and ideas. In fact, I may share some with our audience, so stay tuned!
I hope you stay safe and warm this season. I’ll be hunkered down in the Bay Area thinking of all of you as we leave 2020 behind for a brighter 2021. Thank you for your engagement with OZY throughout the year and your help in creating a vibrant, informed digital community.