In his earliest days in office, President Joe Biden signed numerous executive orders and made detailed legislative proposals to deal with our country’s unprecedented and simultaneous crises: the COVID-19 pandemic; an economic recession with crippling unemployment and worsening inequality of wealth and income; continued systemic racial and ethnic inequity; and extreme political polarization amid assaults on our democracy. This lecture focuses on what progress has been made on all fronts since Biden took office, as well as the prospects now for further progress.

A former US senator and national chair of the Democratic Party, Fred Harris is a widely published author and professor emeritus of political science at the University of New Mexico, where he continues to teach in the Fred Harris Congressional Internship Program. He has produced 20 nonfiction books, including, as co-editor, Healing Our Divided Society, a fiftieth-anniversary update of the 1968 Report of the Kerner Commission, of which he is the lone surviving member.