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The Reality of the Rural/Urban Divide

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Date and time
Thursday, August 13, 2020

Divides – economic, racial, cultural, and educational, to name just a few – exist between communities across the country. But the perceived divide between rural and urban areas has been a lightening rod for our national conversation over the past several years. Setti Warren, in conversation with two journalists working at both ends of this spectrum; a Harvard economist who studies regional economic divides; and author and Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center, Tara Westover will dig into what is real about the divide between rural and urban America, and where we actually find more commonalities than differences across these communities. Image credit: [Pexels](http://https://www.pexels.com/photo/asphalt-junction-near-greenery-on-city-street-4030655/)

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**Connor Sheets** is an investigative reporter with an eye on criminal justice & civil rights for the Alabama Media Group and part of the 2019 ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Follow Connor on Twitter [@ConnorASheets](https://twitter.com/connorasheets "").
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**Gordon Hanson** is the Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Hanson received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1992 and his B.A. in economics from Occidental College in 1986. Prior to joining Harvard in 2020, he held the Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at UC San Diego, where he was founding director of the Center on Global Transformation. Hanson previously served on the economics faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. In his scholarship, Hanson specializes in international trade, international migration and economic geography. He has published extensively in top economics journals, is widely cited for his research by scholars from across the social sciences and is frequently quoted in major media outlets. Hanson’s current research addresses how globalization in the form of immigration and expanded trade with China have affected U.S. local labor markets. In a new endeavor, he is working with a multidisciplinary team of scholars to use satellite imagery to assess the impacts of expanding transportation networks, exposure to extreme weather, and related events on urban economic activity.
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Tara Westover is the author of the award winning memoir, _Educated_, and joined Harvard's Kennedy School as a Shorenstein fellow in 2020.
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**Setti D. Warren** served as Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts from January 1, 2010 to January 1 2018. He was the first African-American to be a popularly-elected mayor in Massachusetts. After graduating from Boston College, he began an extensive career in public service, serving as special assistant in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President Bill Clinton; as New England director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and as deputy state director for Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA). Prior to running for mayor, Mayor Warren completed a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq as a naval intelligence specialist. He served on the advisory board of the United States Conference of Mayors, chairing the organization's community housing and development committee. Mayor Warren is also a life member of The Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of Discovering Justice. He is currently the Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
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