In advance of The Connecticut Mirror’s April 29 event “Small State, Big Debate,” here’s a chance to get to know our individual speakers and their work through video and audio. Please click here to register for the event:

John Jackson, Schott Foundation, President/CEO

Dr. John H. Jackson became the President and CEO of The Schott Foundation for Public Education in 2007. In this role, Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a high quality public education for all students regardless of race or gender.

Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after seven years in leadership positions at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served as the NAACP Chief Policy Officer and prior to that as the NAACP’s National Director of Education.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Jackson to serve in his administration as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

He also served on the Obama-Biden transition team as a member of the President’s 13-member Education Policy Transition Work Group.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica, Civil Rights Reporter

Nikole Hannah-Jones joined ProPublica in late 2011 and covers civil rights with a focus on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Her 2012 coverage of federal failures to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act won several awards, including Columbia University’s Tobenkin Award for distinguished coverage of racial or religious discrimination.

Prior to coming to ProPublica, Hannah-Jones worked at The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She has won the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award three times and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. Her fellowship work has also taken her to Cuba and Barbados, where she wrote about race and education.

Here is her groundbreaking series “Living Apart: Fair Housing in America” from ProPublica. Also, please take a listen to her on “This American Life” here, from the Nov. 2013 episode “House Rules.”

Jacob Hacker, Yale University, Director, Institution For Social and Policy Studies

Jacob S. Hacker, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and Stanley B. Resor, Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He is a board member of The Century Foundation, Economic Policy Institute, The American Prospect, and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network steering committee.

He is also the author of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, written with Paul Pierson (2010, paperback 2011), The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream (2006, paperback 2008), The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States (2002), and The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton’s Plan for Health Security (1997), co-winner of the Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Brandeis University, Director, Institute For Child Youth and Family Policy

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Ph.D., is Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.

From 1998 to 2011, she was a faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health (1998-2009) and Northeastern University (2009-2011). She is Project Director for, an indicator project on racial/ethnic equity in U.S. metropolitan areas, and for (launch expected Fall 2013), a comprehensive database of indicators on child well-being and opportunity by race/ethnicity across multiple sectors (e.g., education, health, neighborhoods) and geographies. She served on two national expert panels convened by the Centers for Disease Control (Housing and Health, and Social Determinants of Health).

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