Monique Aiken Discusses How to Create a Just Economy at SPECTRUM21
Monique Aiken launched The Reconstruction podcast with the ImpactAlpha platform in February with a focus on moving capital toward justice: rethink, redress, liberate. The period after the American Civil War was a time of great ferment, division – and systemic change. Today’s confluence of pandemic, dislocation and popular mobilization presents new opportunities for systemic change. Conversations on The Reconstruction podcasts, and coverage on ImpactAlpha, introduce people, projects and U.S. policies that center Blackness in the service of economic liberation for all.
In Aiken’s words: “We are rethinking capital and rethinking power. … We must move capital toward justice.”
At SPECTRUM21 Virtual, Aiken discussed what must be done to “move capital toward justice” in actuality. Specifically, she anchored her session on being a good ancestor to future generations, which will be greatly impacted by the actions taken today.
“Being a good ancestor today is about doing what is needed to bring the possibility of a more just future that much closer to reality,” she said.
Part of the work requires asking tough questions that cut to the heart of the status quo and why it isn’t working.
“How are we going to say, unapologetically, ‘no fair,’ to the systems and structure that have been held up on our forebearers’ backs?” she asked. “And find a way we must, because more of the same or worse is unacceptable.”
She continued: “Who was the financial system meant to serve, and does it work in a way that represents our values? If it doesn’t, then we need new norms and models that incorporate all externalities in service of greater and more positive outcomes, human and planetary.”
Aiken stressed that, in the midst of intersecting crises, slow progress is not acceptable. The pace of change must meet the urgency of the moment.
“Right now is not about incremental change. We need revolutionary change.”
Watch Aiken’s full session above.