Tackling Social Inequality

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom delivers keynote at USF


An innovator in housing the homeless as San Francisco’s former mayor and a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom delivered the keynote address at the Social Equity Leadership Conference, hosted by the USF School of Management June 1–3, where he spoke passionately about gender inequality, the wealth gap, and criminal justice reform. 

“The Bible teaches us that we are many parts, but one body. When one part suffers, we all suffer,” said Newsom, addressing an audience of 200 in the McLaren Conference Center June 2. “It’s that principle that unites us here today … It’s the principle we should be championing and fighting for.” 

The conference drew scholars and nonprofit leaders from as far away as India and highlighted problems surrounding law enforcement and race, affordable housing, LGBT issues, and access to technology for low-income families. There were nearly 70 presentations and workshops, on topics including health disparities among minorities, oppressive policing, sustainability and environmental planning.

Presenters included experts from universities and nonprofits around the country, as well as several USF professors and graduate students. 

“USF is a fitting place to hold the conference,” said Professor Richard Greggory Johnson III, who organized the event. “The university was founded on social justice principles, has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation, and is located in San Francisco, a city known for celebrating differences.” 

He said the goal of the conference is to help attendees think about ways to improve social justice around the world.

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