Episode 21: Surina Khan

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Surina Khan discuss the power of women-led public policy advocacy while exploring the groundbreaking, intersectional work of the Women’s Foundation of California.


“When you put women—whether we’re cisgender women or trans women—in charge of our own resources, you really begin to see powerful accomplishments and gains,” says Surina Khan, the CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California.

A long-time social sector leader and advocate for women’s and LGBTQ rights, Surina joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya on the podcast to discuss the innovative work of the Women’s Foundation of California, including its transformative Women’s Policy Institute (WIP), which has trained more than 500 grassroots leaders in state and local policy advocacy—leading to 35 (and counting) policy wins for women and girls across the state.

Surina and Jhumpa discussed the history of the Women’s Foundation of California; the past and present philanthropic landscape for funding gender justice work; and powerful case studies of the impact of WPI leaders and alumni on women, girls, and LGBTQ communities in California and beyond.

They also discussed intersectionality as an important framework for advancing multi-issue advocacy and reform, and they highlighted opportunities for California grassroots leaders to get involved at the state and local advocacy levels through the Women’s Policy Institute.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


To learn more about the Women’s Foundation of California, visit womensfoundca.org and follow the foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Women’s Policy Institute accepts applications for its respective state and local advocacy programs on an annual basis. Visit womensfoundca.org/policy/wpi/ to learn more.

The Color of Wealth in Miami

A Joint Publication of: The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Income and wealth inequality in the United States, especially across racial and ethnic groups, is dramatic and persistent. While income is often used by researchers, practitioners, advocates, and policymakers to describe local economic conditions and drive policy decisions, it also increasingly is recognized as an inadequate indicator of economic well-being, mobility, and security. Wealth is generally less volatile than income, and it provides a store of resources that gives families security during emergencies and allows them to secure advantages that foster the well-being of the next generation.

The findings in this report from the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey reveal major disparities in wealth accumulation and income across various racial and ethnic groups in metropolitan Miami. The NASCC survey was developed to fill a void in existing national data sets that rarely collect data disaggregated by specific national origin in a localized context.

The NASCC survey collects detailed data on assets and debts among subpopulations, according to race, ethnicity, and country of origin. The NASCC instrument measures the range and extent of asset and debt holdings, not just by broadly defined groups (e.g. whites, blacks, Latinxs and Asians), but by racial and ethnic groups partitioned by more refined categories of ancestral origin (e.g. whites, U.S. descendant blacks, Caribbean blacks, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans, and other Latinxs). This type of disaggregation allows for a more specific examination of variations in asset holdings both across and within broadly defined racial and ethnic groups. This report explores factors that are related to wealth accumulation for particular racial and ethnic groups, including historical context, local asset market conditions, and intergenerational wealth transfers.

Click here to watch a recording from the Color of Wealth in Miami report release event that was held on February 25, 2019 in Miami, FL.

Click here to view and download the Color of Wealth in Miami full report.

Family Needs Calculator (formerly the Self-Sufficiency Standard)

You think Bay Area housing is expensive? Child care costs are rising, too | February 2019

By Karen D’Souza | Bay Area News Group

While most people are fast asleep, Alexis Gasperecz works the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter for veterans. Around 8 a.m., when her shift ends, she leaves to take care of her children, Brielle, 11 months old, and King, 3, until about 6:30 p.m. when her boyfriend Darrin Davis and his mother return from their jobs for the childcare hand-off. By midnight, it’s time for Gasperecz to go back to work. If she’s lucky, she’s squeezed in three or four hours sleep. Click here to read the full article.


Past the Drought op-ed | January 2019

By Aisa Villarosa, Associate Director of Policy and Research

Take your pick of produce from any grocery aisle in the nation, and it’s likely to come from California’s Central Valley.

The Central Valley contains less than one percent of total farmland in the United States; and yet, the region grows nearly half of the country’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts, carrying a total annual value of over $33 billion.[1] This abundance is achieved through the year-round efforts of the Valley’s agricultural workers — thousands of women, men, and children who toil through scorching days and cold nights, with little pay or job protection. Click here to read the full piece.


Past the Drought Report | December 2018

Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley, a report released by the Insight Center in partnership with the California Asset Building Coalition, examines why so many workers in the Central Valley of California are struggling to afford their basic needs.

 

Race, Gender and Wealth

Video: Racist right-wing media myths allow the racial wealth gap to persist | May 2019

Wealth inequality in the U.S. has been steadily increasing along racial and ethnic lines since the Great Recession, according to a Pew study. White Americans disproportionately enjoy the economic security that wealth affords to people in this country, and right-wing media figures often blame Black people for their lack of financial means. Media Matters spoke with Anne Price, president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, where she leads the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative that elevates the voices of experts of color in national economic debates and policymaking. She dispelled the racist right-wing media myths that link the wealth gap to behavioral pathology and deservedness. Click here to watch the full video.


Clipped Wings: Closing the Wealth Gap for Millennial Women | March 2019

Today, there are about 40 million millennial women, representing 31.5% of the female population in the U.S. Millennial women do not benefit from many economic policies and systems designed by, and built to meet the needs of, men as primary breadwinners. Millennial women came of age during the Great Recession, the rise of mass incarceration, unprecedented student debt levels, and changing workforce dynamics. All of these factors contribute to the fact that millennial women are 37% more likely than Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1984) to be living below the federal poverty line and are more likely to be underemployed or unemployed than previous generations. Click here to read the full report.


Clipped Wings Webinar | November 2018

Too many Millennial women are operating under clipped wings that prevent them from achieving economic security and soaring to their full potential. Existing policies affecting family economic security do not support Millennial women’s rise in educational attainment and resulting student debt burden, nor do they acknowledge the ongoing roles Millennial women play as the primary caregivers for children and other family members. Click here to access the recorded webinar and slide deck.


What we Got Wrong about the Wealth Gap | July 2018

The racial wealth gap is large and shows no signs of closing. Recent data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (2014) shows that black households hold less than seven cents on the dollar compared to white households.1 The white household living near the poverty line typically has about $18,000 in wealth, while black households in similar economic straits typically have a median wealth near zero. This means, in turn, that many black families have a negative net worth. (Hamilton et al. 2015).  Click here to read the full report.


Women Race and Wealth | January 2017

Women, Race and Wealth is the first in a series of briefs that summarize patterns of household wealth among Black and white women by college education, family structure and age using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Researchers from Duke University and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development analyzed data on assets such as savings and checking accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, houses and vehicles. Debts included credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, mortgages and vehicle debt. To read the full research brief, click here.


Bootstraps are for Black Kids | September 2015

A new study released today shows that—despite a close to 19 to 1 racial difference in median wealth—black parents demonstrate an outsized commitment to using their limited resources to invest in their children’s education. And that investment pays off; bringing their children to near parity in terms of educational achievement with their white counterparts. Click here to learn more.


Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain | April 2015

This report challenges America’s egalitarian promise of opportunity and individual agency. Research and public policy have traditionally focused on education and income as drivers of upward mobility. Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain reveals that it’s the unearned birthright of inheritance or other family transfers that has the greatest effect on wealth accumulation, and likewise is the largest factor erecting barriers to wealth accumulation for people of color. Click here to read the full report.

A Paycheck Away from Financial Catastrophe

Anne Price, Medium

Two weeks ago, following the longest government shutdown in U.S history, hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors headed back to work after going 35 days without pay. For some employees relief will come in the form of a paycheck and back pay, however, many federal contractors (almost 2 million of whom earn less than $12 an hour) may not get paid for the days they lost.

This latest government shutdown brings to the forefront what so many American workers feel everyday, even some of those who are in the middle or upper middle class. Too many among us are just a missed paycheck or two from financial catastrophe.

The devastating effects of disrupted income were felt by most federal workers, but were even more painful for the nearly half of federal workers who are sole earners, and the close to 40% who have children. Financial hardship is also experienced by Black and Latino workers who make up nearly 20% and 9% of the federal workforce, respectively, and are often on the low end of the government pay scale.

Some workers took to Twitter under the #shutdownstories hashtag to share their stories of hardship and strategies for survival during the furlough. We learned about their decisions to forgo doctor’s appointments, cut back on critical medication, skip meals, rely on food banks, launch GoFundMe campaigns to cover basic expenses, borrow money from friends and family, deplete savings, and dip into retirement accounts just to scrape by.

Yet these are not extraordinary measures — in fact, these strategies have become all too commonplace among everyday workers who experience an economic shock due to an employer suddenly changing or cutting shifts or hours, or unexpected layoffs.

Click here to read the full feature on Medium.

Past the Drought: New Report Examines Inequities in California’s Central Valley

By Aisa Villarosa, Associate Director of Policy and Research

Take your pick of produce from any grocery aisle in the nation, and it’s likely to come from California’s Central Valley.

The Central Valley contains less than one percent of total farmland in the United States; and yet, the region grows nearly half of the country’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts, carrying a total annual value of over $33 billion.[1] This abundance is achieved through the year-round efforts of the Valley’s agricultural workers — thousands of women, men, and children who toil through scorching days and cold nights, with little pay or job protection.

Insight’s new report, Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley, spotlights how, despite decades of invaluable contributions to the nation’s economic growth, the Valley is the poorest region in California — with nearly 4 out of every 10 households unable to afford basic needs. Using Insight’s Self-Sufficiency Standard,[2] the report highlights key findings and offers recommendations for change so that all Central Valley residents can have a chance to thrive.

Click here to read the full piece.

Kenya James

 Kenya James is the Finance and Operations Manager at the Insight Center. In this role, Kenya ensures that the organization runs smoothly and that staff members have the support they need in order to be effective in their positions and the community. Prior to joining the Insight Center, Kenya served as the Facilities Manager at the Greenlining Institute in Oakland, CA. She also was an Administrative Assistant at Charles River Associates, a leading global consulting firm. Kenya is a veteran of the U.S. Army and obtained her degree in Business Administration with options in Accounting and IT Management from Cal State University, East Bay.

Episode 20: Catherine Berman

Listen to Anne Price and Catherine Berman discuss the social investment platform CNote as an innovative model for expanding economic development and opportunity in historically underserved communities.


Catherine Berman is a three-time social entrepreneur, former Managing Director at Charles Schwab, and co-founder of CNote, a social investment platform.

Catherine joined Insight President Anne Price on the podcast to discuss the work of CNote to provide an innovative, accessible platform for investing in the public good by allowing individuals to invest directly in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are Treasury Department-certified organizations whose goal is to invest in economic development and job creation in low-income communities.

Sharing her vision behind CNote, Catherine discussed how a social investment platform like CNote can foster economic development and opportunity in underserved communities – including expanded entrepreneurship among historically excluded groups – while providing solid, transparent, and socially responsible returns for investors.

Considering issues of race, gender, and wealth, Anne and Catherine discussed the need to bring greater diversity and accessibility to financial services; the power of embracing our own “otherness;” and the transformative potential of being mindful of the impact of each and every dollar we invest or spend.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes.


Read stories of borrowers who have been funded through CNote’s social investment network.

Learn more about Community Development Financial Institutions and their impact in low-income communities.

Learn more about CNote by visiting mycnote.com and following CNote on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Data For Black Lives | Black People vs Robots: Panel Discussion

Earlier this month, Anne Price shared her thoughts during a panel discussion titled “Black People vs. Robots: Reparations and Workers Rights in the Age of Automation” at the second annual Data for Black Lives conference.

The conference convened hundreds of data scientists, computer programmers, racial justice activists, and elected officials to discuss the role that data can and should play in Black communities. Click here or on the video below to watch a recording of Anne’s panel discussion.