Professor Ruha Benjamin, who is being recognized with this year's Stowe Prize, talks about her book Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want. She discusses the small things around us that produce both problems and solutions, and she explains why racism hurts even those it supposedly benefits.
Benjamin examines the converging plagues of COVID-19 and police violence, mapping the multiple routes through which racism gets under the skin. Recounting her personal experiences and those of her family, Benjamin illuminates the devastating impact of the chronic stress of racism, the trauma caused by mass imprisonment, and the vast inequities of our nation’s healthcare system. As she channels her life story, she also offers a passionate, inspiring, and practical vision of how seemingly minor decisions and habits could spread virally and have exponentially positive effects.