Forum on Obstacles to Socioeconomic Mobility

In today’s politically polarized society, it is more important than ever to aim to understand those with whom we disagree. This forum will bring together students and professionals representing diverse viewpoints to discuss their perspectives on the obstacles to socioeconomic mobility. The goal of this event is to enable a small group of twenty students and four academics or professionals in the field to engage in substantive conversation about the issue and build skills for engaging with nuance and civility. During the event, students will engage with the speakers and other students during panel discussions, large and small group sessions, and reading and writing exercises with the aim to understand a diverse set of viewpoints. 

There is no cost to attend this event. Meals will be provided throughout. Travel and lodging will be arranged and provided as needed.

The forum is part of the Mercatus Center's larger Pluralist Lab, an effort to foster open mindedness and mutual forbearance while actively demonstrating how we can exchange ideas and coexist with our fellow citizens across deep divides. The Pluralist Lab hosts forums like this one to encourage experimentation and development of new tools for improving civil discourse in professional and everyday life. We are hopeful that this series of conversations on the core values and current challenges to a free, open, and equal society will yield the understanding and tools necessary for rejuvenating them.

Speakers include Rachel Ferguson, Kmt Shockley, Kofi Ampaabeng and others. Speakers may be subject to change. 

Eligibility: Students of all majors at the graduate or undergraduate level

Event Date: November 3-5, 2022

Location: The Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The final section of this application consists of three short response questions. You will have a max of 1,500 characters (~250 words) to respond to each.

1. Please describe your interest in attending this event.

2. Who is one of your intellectual influences and how have they shaped your worldview?

3. What is something that you used to firmly believe, but have since changed your mind about? What changed your mind, or influenced you to change your beliefs?

You will also be prompted to upload a current resume.

Students will be updated on their application status by September 1st, 2022.

Please reach out to Sarah Wright, [email protected] with any questions