Michael Ford, the founding director of Xavier’s Center for the Study of the American Dream, is speaking at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service on Tuesday, Nov. 9, as part of the school’s Distinguished Speakers Series. His topic is “The State of the American Dream… Post Election.”
The series has hosted speakers such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward, and Elizabeth Boris, director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.
During his 37-year career in politics and government, Ford, who graduated from Xavier in 1970, has been the executive assistant to the governor of Ohio, worked as chief of staff to the mayor of Cincinnati and served in senior roles for nine presidential campaigns. These include candidates such as Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown.
In a Xavier magazine interview with Ford before he founded the Center, Ford talks about the issues of the day that drew him into politics. For Ford, the creation of the Center and the launch of its signature survey represent the achievement of his own dream, one he credits his alma mater with helping to achieve. “I graduated from Xavier and I launched a political career in Cincinnati after graduation. I then went off and did that for 30-plus years all over the country. I wanted to come home and give something back, as they say,” Ford said.
Xavier’s Center for the Study of the American Dream released the inaugural study of the state of the American Dream in March. According to the Center, the significance of studying, understanding and preserving the American Dream is that it drives public attitudes and decisions as it defines aspirations. There are policy and social consequences to the dreams that are dreamed.
The Center’s mission is both to define the American Dream and to help inspire the public imagination to create new and better possibilities. The Center for the Study of the American Dream generates significant original research and survey data on the American Dream. It serves as an information clearinghouse for the American Dream. It engages in dialogue and instruction in the classroom and in the community, and it will promote the American Dream in every way possible.
For more on the Center and the inaugural study, please visit the American Dream website.