The combined public health and economic crises have exacerbated social inequity in our societies. Social injustice and police brutality have led to widespread protests and unrest. From essential workers risking their lives on minimum wage to poor living conditions to inadequate access to health care and the digital world, we must right many existing wrongs in the United States and in Europe. On June 15, the ACG and 1014 hosted German sociologist Prof. Dr. Jutta Allmendinger and American community leader Bill Strickland on how to heal and preserve the fabric of our communities. This event was held with support from the Thomas Mann House.
It has been more than three months since the first lockdown measures were introduced in the United States, and many states and communities are now in the process of reopening. The precautions have helped flatten the curve, but the coronavirus is still spreading at home and around the globe. COVID-19 will continue to spread until a vaccine has been found. On June 11, the ACG hosted a virtual discussion with Dr. Kathrin U. Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development for Pfizer Inc.
Political leaders are currently confronted with a host of evolving geopolitical challenges that includes relations with China, questions being raised about the importance and effectiveness of multilateral organizations and international collaboration, the future of transatlantic cooperation, and U.S. and German leadership in world affairs, amongst many others. Dr. Torrey Taussig (Bosch Fellow 2018-19) moderates a conversation with Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger (ACG Young Leader 1980) and Denis McDonough (Bosch Fellow 1999-2000) about these challenges – and how to meet them.
Protests have erupted across the United States following the killing by police of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis. Racial injustice has long been an issue for civil rights activists, but it also has a national security dimension. Against the backdrop of racial injustice and inequality at home, on June 9, the ACG hosted a virtual discussion on “Racial Injustice and National Security” with Bishop Garrison (2017 ACG Young Leader), Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First, President and Co-Founder of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, and former Defense and Homeland Security Official under the Obama Administration.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined forces in proposing a 500 billion euro EU recovery fund to help respond to the corona virus crisis. If other EU member states agree to the plan, it would be an important step forward for a more unified Europe – and it might bring the bloc closer together rather than fracturing it. But, the proposal is not without controversy. On Friday, May 29, the ACG hosted a webinar with Bundestag member Metin Hakverdi (SPD) who discussed the plans to help the EU recovery from COVID-19.