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Keith Payne to Speak at Benedictine University

September 16, 2019

Keith Payne - Author in the House Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die, by Dr. Keith Payne, has been called “A persuasive and highly readable account of how rising inequality, and not just absolute poverty, is undermining our politics, social cohesion, long-term prosperity, and general well-being.” On September 26, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m., Payne will share his insights into the social and psychological effects of increasing inequality during a speaking event hosted inside Goodwin Auditorium at Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle IL.

Payne is a Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an international leader in the psychology of inequality and discrimination. His research has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, and on NPR. He has written for Scientific American and Psychology Today. You can learn more about him at

Broken Ladder is the latest in a series of Summer Readings and Fall Lectures for Benedictine freshmen. The book emphasizes curiosity, learning, compassion, and respect for all, qualities which support Benedictine’s hallmark of the year, “community and service to the common good.” Payne delineates broad outlines of societal fixes, as well as personal advice: “Studies show that this simple exercise of focusing on what matters most can have remarkable effects on experiences of inequality.” Keith Payne has relied on rich interdisciplinary evidence from psychology, sociology, history, and biology and offers solutions in a system that seems more extreme every year.

The lecture is free and open to the public.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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