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XQ Institute Co-Founder and CEO Russlynn Ali on Quality Education as the Fundamental Civil Rights Issue of this Generation

21 September, 2020

Russlynn Ali, Co-founder and CEO of the XQ Institute, begins the discussion by sharing a sense of optimism that this moment of social unrest has awakened people of all ages and races to the systemic inequities and racist policies that are prevalent in society today.


In an interview with Dr. Lori Esposito Murray, President of the Committee for Economic Development at The Conference Board, Ali emphasizes how education, and the way in which instruction is delivered, can shape the trajectory of one’s life. She also reflects on the role of the private sector and encourages businesses to embed themselves within the teaching and development that occurs at the school level. 


“It is quite clear that this pandemic is bringing about a massive disruption in the way we do school in America and it’s also quite clear that we have needed a massive transformation for a very long time,” says Ali. “If there is any opportunity in this crisis, it is to rebuild our schools in a way that truly serves our nation’s young people… the system of public schooling in America and ensuring it works as intended is ‘the great equalizer’ as Thomas Jefferson said. It is the most important civil rights issue of our generation.”


The CEO Forum series features CEOs from across American industry who focus on actionable insights to address underlying challenges of economic opportunity, childhood education, health care, workforce skills development, workplace equality and corporate governance. 


Dr. Lori Esposito Murray

Dr. Lori Esposito Murray
Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board

Dr. Lori Esposito Murray is President of The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED), and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining CFR, she held the distinguished national security chair at the U.S. Naval Academy sponsored by the Clas...Full Bio

Russlynn Ali

Russlynn Ali
Chief Executive Officer
XQ Institute

Russlynn Ali has been a leading advocate for educational equity for more than two decades. As Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education during President Obama’s first term, Ali spearheaded the federal government’s renewed engagement with equity issues in scho...Full Bio







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