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Casey Gerald Inspires Us to Question and Reimagine Our Most Cherished Myths

Riverhead Books
Casey Gerald's new memoir

Casey Gerald has written a memoir, "There Will Be No Miracles Here." (Riverhead Books)  Gerald was the final speaker in this year's Green Room series, a community-wide educational experiment at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City and a University of Iowa Honors Course taught by Dave Gould.

Gerald grew up in poverty in Dallas, went to Yale University on a scholarship and played football there.  He then went to the Harvard Business School for an M.B.A.  This led him to co-found "MBA's Across America" after his graduation.  The organization is a movement of M.B.A.s and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize the country.  Gerald says this year, 32 M.B.A.s comprised of 8 teams, went to 26 towns and cities to work hands-on with 48 visionary entrepreneurs.  These men and women ae trying to create jobs and change lives in their communites.

Casey Gerald spoke with Charity about his memior.  Gerald is concerned about America's disenfranchised, whom he can relate to because he grew up black, poor and gay in evangelical Texas.  He told us the rest of America needs to realize its failure to confront the myths, half-truths and lies that relate to the success stories that the nation cherishes.  He understands how the world crushes those who live at the margin. 

Gerald's grandfather led a black, evangelical church.  His mother disappeared frequently and mysteriously from his life.  His father was a football legend who literally broke his back for the team.  Our guest spoke of the "Empathy Gap" in the society today and how to bridge it, which he says will not be impossible, but will be "damn hard."  He went on: "I tell young people that the only thing reasonable for them on campus is total rebellion--you've got to get out of the classroom, get out of your cubicle, cross the road and go talk to somebody.  We're more alike than unlike--we're all in this together."

Gerald told Charity that we're in the early days of a "beautiful and dangerous revolution."  He said on the program: "When it comes to the terms by which we live in the world, our young people are not given any quarter concerning the ideas about life that were given to them.  They know something's up and they're looking for something new--and I love that!"

This episode originally aired on October 16, 2018

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dennis Reese was the mid-day host for Iowa Public Radio