Progress Summit 2021 Part 1


Progress Summit 2021

Our annual Progress Summit brings together some of the world’s most insightful policy-makers, elected officials, movement-builders and thought leaders to take on the issues of the day and chart a course to a more just and inclusive society.

Given the constraints imposed by the pandemic, our 10th Anniversary Progress Summit will occur online and comprise three sessions spread between March and May of 2021. Our program will take a deep dive into old and new challenges and opportunities we face in this unusual time, including how to build a post-pandemic recovery with prosperity for all.

Part 1 - Who pays for recovery? Fair taxes and building a future for all

March 11, 2021

In March we hosted the first chapter of our 10th Anniversary Progress Summit series exploring how progressive tax measures can reduce wealth and income inequality and provide resources to undertake a bold and sustainable post-COVID recovery.

The pandemic has uncovered long-standing fault lines in our society, but its silver lining is the demonstration that we can overcome great challenges when we work together.

Throughout the virtual program, we hosted inspiring speakers, interactive sessions and compelling conversations about how to turn overwhelming public support for fairer and more effective taxation into clear policy wins. We talked to leaders and activists from around the world about what types of proposals are gaining the most ground and where they are already in place and working.

Featured Speaker: LaTosha Brown – U.S. voting rights activist, philanthropist and media commentator

Latosha Brown is one of the founders of Black Voters Matter and a key architect of the recent Democratic Party electoral breakthroughs in Georgia. She spoke about voter empowerment – especially amongst traditionally marginalized peoples -- and how to win against long odds. Brown dealt with a significant power outage in her neighbourhood the day of the event, which is why the audio and video quality falters at times. This session included a conversation with award-winning journalist Althia Raj about lessons that can be applied to progressive movements around the world.

Why fair taxation makes for a healthier society and economy

Economic inequality and the wealth gap have real costs to our collective wellbeing and create a significant drag on our economy. Felicia Wong of the Roosevelt Institute spoke about the Roosevelt Institute’s ground-breaking research in this area and joined a panel of experts to bust some myths around taxes and the economy and discuss how various tax proposals can help us recover from the pandemic.


  • Felicia Wong - President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute
  • Morris Pearl - Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires
  • Brigitte Alepin - Author, Filmmaker and tax expert, Co-Founder of Tax Coop
  • Moderated by Rick Smith - Executive Director, Broadbent Institute

Building public support for fair taxes into concrete wins

Activists and experts share their experiences working to get new tax measures implemented, highlighting critical elements of success and charting the path forward. The session explored the “Invest in our New York” campaign as a case study in effective organizing for tax justice. Canadian activists then joined the conversation to apply the case study to efforts in Canada.


  • Sochie Nnaemeka - New York State Director, Working Families Party
  • Jessica Ramos - New York State Senator
  • Rebecca Baillin - Campaign Director of the Invest in Our New York Campaign
  • Toby Sanger - Executive Director, Canadians For Tax Fairness
  • Moderated by Katrina Miller - Program Director, Broadbent Institute

Seizing the moment: The global groundswell to make fair taxation part of pandemic recovery

Progressive leaders from here in Canada and around the world talk about why their parties and constituents have a growing interest in fair taxation, and how the pandemic has increased the urgency to act.


  • Jagmeet Singh, MP (moderator/speaker) - Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada
  • Dr Andrew Leigh, MP - Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Australian Labor Party
  • Wolfgang Schmidt - State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance


This year’s Summit is hosted in partnership with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Roosevelt Institute.


March 11, 2021 at 12:00pm - 3:30pm