Tweaking the dream 

Thanks to free markets and constitutional liberties, even a child born into poverty and oppression can become the next corporate billionaire — or so the mythology goes. Bad news on the economic and environmental fronts, though, have started pushing the concept of the American dream in a different direction. The New American Dream, the 40th-annual Robert F. Kennedy Symposium taking place over several days at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is more about elevating the content of our national character than increasing the balance of our bank accounts. Tonight a panel of activists and academics, including local NAACP chairwoman Anita Russell, Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez and UMKC faculty, will discuss the role of minority and disadvantaged groups in creating a more sustainable and equitable future. The free forum runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Alumni Room of UMKC's University Center (5000 Holmes). Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will speak about "Our Environmental Destiny" at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Royall Hall. Call the Student Government Association at 816-235-1426 for information.— Carolyn Szczepanski
Mon., March 9, 6-8 p.m., 2009

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