The Man Taking on Racism: Eddie Moore Jr.

Nationally-acclaimed speaker and educator Eddie Moore Jr. delivered the keynote speech for the ALANA Cultural Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Week celebration. Committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination against oppressed groups, Moore has pursued and achieved a multitude of successes in academia, business, diversity, leadership and community service. 

He centers much of his work around building relationships founded upon respect, advocacy and understanding, in addition to providing resources to those committed to true social justice and change and empowering Generation Z to fight against racism and other forms of marginalization.  

Recognizing the necessity of engaging America’s youth in his quest to bring equality to its inhabitants of all backgrounds and identities, Moore centered much of his education around learning how to teach and connect with them. After receiving his B.A. in political science at Cornell College in 1989 and a master’s degree in education administration at Loral College in 1995, Moore went on to obtain his Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa. He then dedicated his next ten years to directly working with America’s student population in private schools, serving as the director of diversity at the Bush School in Seattle, Wash. and the Brooklyn Friends School in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Moore incorporated the importance of Generation Z’s participation in fighting against discrimination in his speech on Thursday. 

“We’ve had some folks doing great stuff in the last twenty-five years, but you’re up. … Anti-semitism, anti-immigration, anti-Asian hate, anti-Black hate … . They think that [Generation] Z is going to make the world a better place. … This generation is different. Will this be the generation to move the world along?” he said.

Moore points out that despite America’s progress in combatting racism and other forms of discrimination throughout the past few decades, the nation is still wrought with social inequality and marginalization. He asserts that it is currently up to Generation Z to take the necessary steps to make the U.S. a place that is just and fair to all of its people. 

Sophomore Alex Schade was intrigued by Moore’s discussion of the importance of Generation Z in ending discrimination. 

“I found Moore’s comments about the current statistics regarding homelessness, income gaps and incarceration in regards to race and Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ very eye-opening. Even though there has been a fair amount of progress in battling racism throughout the past century, as Moore pointed out, we still have a lot to do, and it is [on] the hands of my peers and me to really carry the bulk of this responsibility.”  

Moore also centers much of his work around helping people understand their privilege and how to use it to bring about meaningful change. While working on earning his Ph.D., Moore founded America & Moore, LLC to provide the American public with education about diversity, privilege and leadership training in the form of seminars and workshops. He then expanded upon this in 2014 in his founding of The Privilege Institute (TPI). Created to connect people committed to true social and institutional change in research, education, action and collaboration, the non-government organization provides workshops, publications, collaborative partnerships and conferences, including the annual White Privilege Conference. TPI also has a full online peer-reviewed journal called “Understanding and Dismantling Privilege,” of which Moore is a founding editor. 

Moore touched upon the topic in his keynote speech.

“Privilege doesn’t make you evil,” Moore said. “Having the privilege that all of us have, you could do some good things with that.” 

Moore highlights that those who hold more privilege can work to understand the implications of having privilege and how to use it to help others. By creating organizations like America & Moore, LLC and TPI, Moore provides the American public with the tools to use their privilege meaningfully and productively. 

Sophomore Hope Swetow found Moore’s discussion of privilege particularly inspiring and enlightening. 

“I really took what he was saying about how you can’t be defensive of having privilege and your need to recognize that it is something you are born with to heart. If you have privilege, you also have a responsibility to take action in helping those who don’t,” Swetow said. 

In addition to being an educator and entrepreneur, Moore is also an author and editor and has written a variety of books focused on empowerment, diversity and understanding between people of different gender and racial identities. Some of these books include “Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories, “The Diversity Consultant Cookbook: Preparing for the Challenge,” “Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls,” “Lil’e: The Big Misunderstanding” and the forthcoming workbook,”The White Women’s Guide to Teaching Black Males.” Moore is currently working on an autobiography and a guide to those who wish to pursue careers as diversity consultants. 

Moore closed his speech with his own thoughts about the enormity of the task of fighting against discrimination.

“The end of racism is a pretty monumental task,” Moore said. “I even find myself feeling more confident than others but I feel 1000% about my belief in ending racism … I’ve made it a permanent part of my existence.”

True to his word, Moore continues to center his every day around fighting and engaging others in the battle against discrimination against oppressed peoples. Currently, he is a full-time diversity consultant, a public speaker and the founder and president of the Privilege Institute.