Featured Speakers


 Michael Tubbs

Alex Kotlowitz

At the age of 26, Michael D. Tubbs became the youngest Mayor of any major city in American history. As Mayor, Tubbs was lauded for his leadership and innovation, he piloted the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in the country and raised over $20 million dollars to create the Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students. Currently, he is the Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and Opportunity; the Founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI); and the Founder of End Poverty in California (EPIC).

Tubbs has been named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All-star Alumni, the “Most Valuable Mayor” by The Nation, the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center, and 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library. In November 2021, he released The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home; telling not only his story of growing up in poverty, but also laying out his vision for leadership and policy that is more empathetic and responsive to people who are struggling.

Alex Kotlowitz is an award-winning author and journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and on This American Life. His first book There Are No Children Here won the Carl Sandburg prize for its story of two brothers growing up in Chicago’s Henry Horner housing project. Alex’s most recent book, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago “probes the human damage that stems from exposure to violence” (NY Times review.)

Alex was a writer-in-residence at the University of Chicago, a visiting professor for seven years at the University of Notre Dame, a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College and a Distinguished Visitor at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He’s also a professor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism where he’s been teaching since 1999. He lives in Chicago with his wife.

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