The Black Agenda
Bold Solutions for a Broken System
Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is the co-founder of the only non-profit organization addressing the pipeline and pathway problem for Black women in fields of economics, finance, and policy. In her book The Black Agenda, Opoku-Agyeman features Black voices across economics, education, health, climate, and technology, all speaking to the question “What’s next?” as it pertains to centering Black people in policy matters in our country. As we collectively reckon with the aftermath of the pandemic, and finally begin to face the deep-rootedness of racism in this country, her work is empowering, exciting, and indispensable for the new world we’re building.
“The Black Agenda is urgent . . . [A] moral calling to help us learn, reflect, and be motivated toward specific action.”— Chelsea Clinton
Black Americans not only experienced a disproportionate burden of illness from the pandemic—their financial burden was greater, too. Black women were more likely to be worried about money or fired from their jobs, and Black-owned businesses were more likely to get hit by closures. How we rebuild from this crisis is absolutely crucial for our economic futures, says researcher, writer, and activist Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. “If we want to achieve an inclusive economy that works for all, Black women must have visibility in all things from money to policy to economics. ” In The Black Agenda—the first book of its kind—Opoku-Agyeman brings together exclusively Black scholars and experts for a policy-oriented approach in the fight for racial justice in America. The book has received praise from the likes of New York Times bestselling authors and highly sought-after experts, such as Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, who writes, “This book will challenge what you think is possible by igniting long overdue conversations around how to enact lasting and meaningful change rooted in racial justice.” Chelsea Clinton declares, “The Black Agenda is urgent. It’s urgent that white people recognize that centering, listening to, and being led by the voices in this book are the start to investing in societal solutions.”
Opoku-Agyeman co-founded The Sadie Collective, a non-profit providing Black women, students, and professionals the resources they need to succeed in the fields of qualitative sciences. Under her leadership, the Collective drew wide support from leaders across economics, policy, and industry, including Janet Yellen, current Secretary of the Treasury and the first female Chair of the Federal Reserve. Opoku-Agyeman also often speaks on the role that social justice and anti-Black racism plays in paving the way for the next generation of change-makers. As an alumna of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, one of the top producers of Black scientists in the country, Opoku-Agyeman understands the experience on a deeply personal level. She is also the brainchild and co-founder of the #BlackBirdersWeek, a global campaign highlighting Black nature enthusiasts and scientists, and her talks within the broader science community emphasize the structural underpinnings of academic institutions and scientific disciplines.
Opoku-Agyeman’s work has been featured in Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, and Newsweek. In 2019, she co-authored a viral New York Times op-ed with Dr. Lisa Cook, a former White House aide for President Barack Obama who later became a member of the Biden-Harris transition team, that focused on the underrepresentation of Black women in economics and related fields. Her expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion within academia and the workplace is highly sought after by companies and campuses across the country, and she has given talks to organizations such as the Ford Foundation, Stanford University, Harvard University, and The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. In 2020, Opoku-Agyeman became the youngest recipient for the CEDAW Women’s Rights Award by the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Previous awardees include Vice President Kamala Harris and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Opoku-Agyeman is currently a doctoral student studying Public Policy and Economics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as well as an alum of UMBC where she received her B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Economics.
“Anna was fantastic. Her contributions to the conversation on inclusive hybrid work were so important and vital. We cannot express our extreme gratitude to Anna enough. Thank you to Lavin for all of your help in coordinating her speaking engagement with us.”Stanford