Our Work

The Insight Center drives structural, transformative change across three pillars of work, all focused on building economic inclusion and racial equity for people of color, women, immigrants, and marginalized families in the US.

Insight Center celebrates International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also a day to raise awareness about gender inequality and advocate for women’s rights worldwide.

The day is celebrated around the world with marches, rallies, and various cultural events, as well as on social media platforms using the hashtag #IWD.

Michael Browning
Michael Browning

A message from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development board of directors:

The Board of Directors of Insight Center for Community Economic Development has accepted the resignation of its president, Anne Price as of November 30, 2022. We appreciate the commitment to racial and economic justice that Ms. Price brought to our organization and respect her passionate dedication to equity.

On December 1, 2022, the Board of Directors appointed Michael Browning to help with the national search for a permanent president, lead the internal operations of the organization, and to work with the board during this pivotal time.

Mr. Browning has a long and respected history in the nonprofit sector. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and was a National Leadership Fellow at Boston University School of Public Health Medical School Join Together Coalition Fellowship. He is the President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council/City of Los Angeles and serves on three boards: Black Women Rally for Action – Los County, South Central Prevention Coalition, and the San Fernando Valley NAACP.

While troubled by the recent allegations about the organization and leadership transitions, we are dedicated to evaluating and understanding any root causes that may have contributed to these changes.

For 50 years, the Insight Center has been unwavering in its commitment to economic justice and economic equity, and it remains steadfast in that mission. As a national economic justice organization, the Insight Center works to build inclusion and equity for people of color, women, immigrants, and low-income families. This is done through research and advocacy, narrative change and thought leadership. Our vision is that all people become, and remain, economically secure.

As we navigate the multifaceted paths towards economic justice and reflect on the most authentic ways to evolve in partnership with communities, we promise to keep you informed about, and involved in, the directions we take.

Black History Month Spotlight: From Enslaved to Entrepreneur

Born enslaved in Georgia, Bridget “Biddy” Mason walked more than 2,000 miles through rugged terrain to California where she eventually won her freedom in a landmark court case and became a celebrated philanthropist.

Mason was forced to travel West with Robert and Rebecca Smith, slaveholders who had joined the Mormon migration to Utah. The Smiths eventually took Mason and her three children to San Bernardino in California. While California was supposedly a “free state,” Smith continued to hold them captive. Mason and her children befriended free blacks who alerted the local sheriff when the Smiths made plans to take Biddy and her daughters to Texas with them. The sheriff took Mason and her family into protective custody under a writ of habeas corpus.

Judge Benjamin Hayes circumvented racist testimony laws that prevented blacks from testifying against whites by interviewing Mason in his chambers. There, she said that she did not want to go back to the South with the Smiths. As a result, in 1856, Hayes ruled that Mason and her children were “free forever.” Mason became a doctor’s assistant and ran a midwifing business. She accumulated a fortune worth about $7.5 million in today’s dollars, making her one of the richest women in Los Angeles. She established a homestead in what became downtown Los Angeles. Mason used her wealth to establish a daycare center for working parents and created an account at a store where families who lost their homes in flooding could get supplies. She also co-founded and financed the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church, which is still going strong. Known as Grandma Mason, she died in 1891 and is honored through the Biddy Mason monument in downtown Los Angeles.

Biddy Mason
Biddy Mason
cover of report showing parent and child in brown and blue hues

Family Needs Calculator

In California alone, 3.34 million households are living paycheck to paycheck.

Today’s problems are the result of systemic policy failures—not personal responsibility. By analyzing what’s happening in California, one of the nation’s largest states, the Insight Center’s Family Needs Calculator provides a more accurate understanding of what’s needed to meet the basic needs of people throughout the US.

Hidden Truths Podcast

The Insight Center is committed to exposing the root causes of economic exclusion and racial inequity. Through the Hidden Truths podcast, we amplify uncovered truths and unheard voices across policy and politics.