The New American Heartland

"What bothers me is that The American Dream is not struggling everywhere. It’s struggling in the places I care about." J.D. Vance
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J.D. Vance followed by panel and conversation

The plight of middle America and the white working class became a focal point of the 2016 presidential election. The recession, declines in traditional manufacturing jobs, and stagnant wages left many frustrated and angry that the economic prosperity witnessed on the coasts failed to reach their hometowns. How do we revitalize economic growth in middle America?


Join us for an evening of conversation on the economic opportunities and challenges facing America's heartland. J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, will deliver a keynote address. Michael Lind, co-founder and Senior Fellow at New America, will share the prospects for an industrial comeback from The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing Middle America study published by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. A panel conversation will follow.


Panelists include:

Michael Hecht, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.

India Pierce Lee, Chair, Visiting Committee, CSU Maxine  Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Rick Platt, President and CEO, Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority

Aaron M. Renn, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Pete Saunders, Urban Affairs Contributor, Forbes

Mark Schill, Vice President of Research, Praxis Strategy Group 


This conversation will be moderated by Joel Kotkin, Executive Director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and co-author of The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing Middle America.


Location: Global Center for Health Innovation

               1 St. Clair Ave. NE

               Cleveland, OH 44114


Schedule: Doors - 4 p.m.

                 Program - 4:30-6:30 p.m.

                 Reception - 6:30-7:30 p.m.


Tickets: $25 members/$35 nonmembers

             $400 nonprofit tables/$500 corporate tables

Presenting Sponsor:

Albert & Audrey Ratner

Supporting Sponsor:

Port Cleveland Logo Color

Community Partner:

Csu Maxine Goodman Levin

Venue Partner:

Global Center For Health Innovation

Hotel accommodations provided by:


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