Presented by UPMC Enterprises with Support from Peoples

Thrival Innovation+ Music Festival: Keynote Series: The American Identity

September 21, 2016

There is no shortage of opinion when it comes to defining the current social and political climate in America. Conversations about where we are going and who we are as Americans have ventured to the extreme. Factor in a presidential election that leaves many looking toward November with, at a minimum, a sense of uncertainty, and it is not a stretch to say our country is having an identity crisis.


Meghan McCain is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “America Now” which is part of the iHeartRadio/Premiere Network radio family. She is also a regular contributor to Fox News. A powerful role model for women and Republicans alike, McCain passionately discusses women’s issues, social issues, and marriage equality.

Eugene Robinson uses his twice-weekly column in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways. To do this job of demolition and reassembly, Robinson relies on a large and varied tool kit: energy, curiosity, elegant writing and the wide-ranging experience of a life that took him from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the “colored” side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism. His remarkable story-telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American

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