Heather McGhee, author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs and How We Can Prosper Together” / Contributed photo

WESTPORT — The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated with a program Jan. 16 at the Westport Library, featuring author and advocate Heather McGhee.

McGhee, the author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs and How We Can Prosper Together,” will speak at the library at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16. Register here for the free program, scheduled to take place in person and online.

The King tribute also will feature a recital by the Bridgeport Boys Choir and a dance performed by the Regional Center for the Arts.

The program is co-sponsored by the Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport-Weston Interfaith Council and the Westport-Weston Interfaith Clergy.

““The Sum of Us,” published last year, explores inequality and underscores that racism has a cost for everyone — not just for people of color, according to the library’s announcement of the program.

“There is an optimism in McGhee’s book that I believe people will find very welcoming during these difficult times,” William Harmer, the library executive director, said in the release.

“The Sum of Us” was on The New York Times bestseller list and was considered for the National Book Award.  McGhee’s 2020 TED talk, “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone,” reached 1 million views after two months online.

McGhee also helped establish the think tank, Demos, serving four years as president. Under McGhee’s leadership, Demos advocated for debt-free college and argued before the Supreme Court to protect voting rights in January 2018. The group also helped win pro-voter reforms in five states over two years, and provided testimony to Congressional committees, including a Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 2017.

McGhee regularly appears on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Deadline White House” and “All In.” 

Her opinions, writing and research have been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico and National Public Radio.