Book Discussion  

Zoom Meeting

May 05    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (GMT -5:00) EST

Dear Fairfield County Democratic Party Committee Members & Friends,

The FairDems Monthly Book Discussion Group has selected Heather McGhee’s book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” for its May 5th and June 2nd online discussions. If this interests you, we'd love to have you join us. Details follow.

Fear and resentment fueled by the belief that a group with lesser power gains a benefit only at the expense of another group with greater power can lead to bad decisions benefiting no one at the expense of everyone. Consider the following case in point:  When faced with integrating their “whites only” public pools in the 1950s and 60s, some towns instead chose to drain the pools so nobody could use them. 

Using this vivid example as a parable, economic and social policy expert Heather McGhee says such zero-sum thinking negatively impacts the U.S. economy and all of us by attacking the logic of taking collective action to solve common problems with solutions that benefit everyone – and she says that racism is the root cause. In her new book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” McGhee documents the stories of ordinary Americans struggling to provide for basic needs as a result of political divisions and policy choices that reinforce economic and racial inequality, and she presents thoughtful proposals that challenge the zero-sum narrative and offer hope for a more equitable future.

About Our Virtual Book Discussion:

You are invited to join us online via Zoom on Wednesday, May 5th, at 7:00 pm as we begin a discussion of Heather McGhee’s book, which is widely available in print, digital, and audio formats. We’ll be touching on the introductory themes that evening and will continue the discussion in further detail when our group meets again on June 2nd (we meet online the first Wednesday of the month).

 Here’s the link you’ll need to join us on Zoom (the link will be the same for the May 5th, June 2nd, and future book discussions):

Meeting ID: 876 0501 0797

Passcode: 553997

 For more information about the book and where to get it, visit this Goodreads link:

 The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (

You Can Participate Even if You Don’t Have Time to Read the Book – Here’s How:

Are you thinking you won’t have time to read the book or get very far into it by the time we meet, but you want to participate in the discussion? No problem. There are several online resources that can help you be proficient in the book’s central themes with a time investment of only about an hour or less. Check out the links below.

Watch an online video (click on a link)

Heather C. McGhee: Racism has a cost for everyone | TED Talk

Heather McGhee and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren : The Sum of Us - YouTube

Listen to an audio podcast (click on a link)

PODCAST: Heather McGhee: How American Racism has a Cost for Everyone –

Opinion | What ‘Drained-Pool’ Politics Costs America - The New York Times (

Want to RSVP?

We’ve posted event pages to Facebook where you can RSVP and reference the details of our virtual book discussions, including how to join the discussions via Zoom. Here are links to the respective event pages:

For our May 5th Virtual Book Discussion:

For our June 2nd Virtual Book Discussion:

Have Questions?

If you have questions, please message us through Facebook or contact Fairfield County Democratic Party Chair Paul Johnson at

Paul Johnson - Chair
Fairfield County Democratic Party
(614) 204-5738

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