On May 12th, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) held their annual meeting at the majestic Tremont Grant hotel in downtown Baltimore. After welcoming comments by board chair Lynn Homeier Rauch of the Kentfields Foundation, ABAG President Betsy Nelson took to the podium to introduce the day’s key note speaker, Dr. Manuel Pastor, professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, and the economic and social conditions facing low-income urban communities. His most recent book, This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America (Cornell University Press, 2009; co-authored with Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka), suggest how regional organizing is charting a new path for progressive politics and policies in America’s urban areas.
An engaging, intelligent and genuinely entertaining speaker, Pastor elucidated the demographic trends that are driving change in American domestic policy and how a focus on regional economies, led by a spirit of collaboration and sustainability, will create a path forward and a re-imagining of the American dream.
Below is a clip of Pastor addressing regional leadership and sustainability. The speech, including an introduction by Betsy Nelson, is available in its entirety on the Forum’s YouTube Channel.