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“Democracy must be defended today, at any cost. Tomorrow, when the principles which we can defend today have been passed into the hands of a totalitarian state, will be too late.” – Sadie T.M. Alexander
Lycoming College will host Nina Banks, Ph.D., for a lecture entitled “Sadie T.M. Alexander: Safeguarding Democracy - Race, Economic Uncertainty and the Rule of Law.” Banks will discuss revolutionary economist Sadie T.M. Alexander’s analysis of the rise in fascism and racial demagoguery in the United States in the 1930s, and why that is especially relevant today. The event will be held on Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m., in the Trogner Presentation Room in the Krapf Gateway Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Alexander was the United States’ first African American economist and first African American woman to earn her doctorate, receiving that degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1921. She spent the majority of her career, both as an economist and later as a lawyer, fighting against racial and economic injustice. She created policies meant to safeguard the people’s rights from systemic discrimination, and bring justice to those who suffered because of it. Banks’s lecture will examine the methods Alexander used and compare them to how we must act in our time, while also shinning a light on such an important but often overlooked woman to the history of economics in our nation.
Banks is an associate professor of economics at Bucknell University, and currently serves at visiting fellow at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School. Her storied career has focused on making visible the unseen and often unpaid work of African American and other marginalized women in the fields of economics and community activism. Just as with her talk on the accomplishments of Saide T.M. Alexander, Banks restores the ignored but necessary place for the women who helped to shape the economic history of the United States.
After graduating from Hood College with B.A.s in economics and social history, Banks earned her doctorate in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a visiting fellow at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School. She has authored several books on the intersection between race, gender and economics, the most well-known being Democracy, Race, and Justice: The Speeches and Writings of Sadie T. M. Alexander. Her research has been featured in popular media outlets such as NPR, the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, and the State of Working America podcast.
This lecture is co-sponsored by Lycoming College’s department of economics; the department of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies; and the Humanities Research Center.