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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Discussion on the American Dream

Aggie+Agora+hosts+a+Friday+lecture+series+with+distinguished+guests+who+talk+to+students+about+the+American+Dream.
Photo by Courtesy

Aggie Agora hosts a Friday lecture series with distinguished guests who talk to students about the American Dream.

Aggie Agora will host Richard Reeves, author of “Dream Hoarders” and one of Politico’s top 50 thinkers in the U.S., on Friday.
The lecture will focus on Reeves’ new book about the American upper-middle class. Reeves is a Brookings Senior Fellow and teaches at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and is a member of the Government of Canada’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty. The Politico 50 list covers “the ideas blowing up American Politics — and the people behind them,” according to the magazine’s 2017 Ideas Issue. Reeves earned a spot on the list for his exploration of contemporary class conflict in the U.S.
Jennifer Mercieca, communication professor and director of Aggie Agora, said the lecture is a continuation of a series Aggie Agora has hosted over the past few years, which has included Robert Putnam’s “Our Kids: the American Dream in Crisis” and Michelle Dickerson’s lecture on how race and the American dream are related.
“Reeves is carrying on that conversation and discussing it from a different aspect, which is that it is in fact the upper middle class, not so much the elite 1 percent that we hear so much about, that is disproportionately benefiting from political decisions and economic decisions in the country,” Mercieca said.
This is the first year, Aggie Agora has a student committee according to Jessica Gantt Shafer, Aggie Agora graduate fellow.
“The beginning of this school year was the official start to the Aggie Agora Student Committee and I hope that it will continue on, because the whole purpose of the Agora is to create that space for students to interact with community members, each other and experts in that field to become engaged citizens,” Shafer said.
Mercieca said the Aggie Agora Student Committee personally nominated Reeves as the final lecturer of the year.
“Richard Reeves was their choice, so we are happy that he was able to accept our invitation,” Mercieca said. “This is the first time that the Aggie Agora has had a student committee and this is the first year we asked them to nominate one a speaker for Friday lectures.”
Following the event, Aggie Agora is set to have a coffee hour with Reeves from 2-3 p.m. to offer a small number of students the chance to personally talk with him.
“[Coffee hours are] an opportunity to sit down and meet a person and talk to them like they’re real, instead of having the idea that they’re this really distinguished scholar and on a stage, far away,” Mercieca said. “You get to sit around a table and just hang out.”
Mercieca said she hopes students will come to this event and learn about the role of class and economic inequality in America.
“Discussions about economic policy and the American Dream are crucial to students — they’ll be in the economy soon,” Mercieca said. “We have a good number of first generation college students here, we have a wide distribution of economic backgrounds here and so its a conversation that’s relevant to everyone.”
A book signing will follow Reeves’ lecture on Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rudder Tower, Room 601.

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