Racial and Gender Inequity Within Workforce Systems

Work in America is changing, and for many Americans it is not changing for the better. A postwar world of work that brought two generations of unprecedented American prosperity ended in the 1970s and has been replaced with stagnated and/or low wages, decreasing benefits and worker power, and limited opportunities for advancement. Working people of color are often packed into jobs based on things outside of their control, including race, age, and gender.

  • Conduct research to better understand the impacts of technological change impact job quality for women, young people, and people of color and propose policy solutions.
  • Support groups led by working people of color to develop a proactive agenda to address the changing nature of work and ensure dignity and respect in the workplace
  • Uncover the drivers of racial and gender inequity in the ways in which workforce institutions may be perpetuating racial/ gender bias and inequities
  • Increase understanding of how the rules of our economy are driving labor market changes and affecting working people of color to inform local campaigns and policy agendas
  • Examine the long-term economic consequences of occupational segregation among young adults of color

Mississippi Is America: How Racism and Sexism Sustain a Two-Tiered Labor Market in the US and Constrict the Economic Power of Workers in Mississippi and Beyond | October 2020

The “Mississippi Is America” report demonstrates the consequences of America’s two-tiered labor market in which Black and brown workers and women are denied access to economic security on the job. It utilizes labor market data and an occupational crowding analysis to illustrate who is largely excluded from the most-desirable, best-paying jobs and who is crowded into those with the lowest wages and least stability.

Click here to read the full report.


Re-Imagining a Bay Area Workforce System Grounded in Racial and Gender Equity | May 2020

This report released with the support of ReWork the Bay, examines how women and people of color have made untold contributions across industries, despite being denied basic rights and fair wages due to racism, sexism, and xenophobia baked into our workforce policies and practices. These injustices are amplified by the COVID-19 crisis, and the report shows why we will need a workforce system designed specifically to meet the needs of marginalized groups in order to have a just and inclusive recovery.

Click here to read the full report.


The Payback Problem | June 2019

This report reveals that taking parents’ child support payments to pay back the cost of public assistance harms California’s low-income parents and children. Every year, hundreds of thousands of California children living in poverty do not receive all of the child support payments made by their parents. For low-income parents, most of their child support payments do not go to their children. Instead, the majority of their payments go to the government to pay back the cost of public assistance. There should be no price tag on our safety net for low-income families.

Click here to read the full report.


Opportunity for Every Worker: Toward a Fair Chance Workforce in the Bay Area | May 2019

The Fair Chance Workforce System project was initiated by Rise Together, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Urban Strategies Council through a shared commitment to ensuring all people in the Bay Area have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family, regardless of race, gender or status. Economic and employment research confirm that employees with records have better retention rates, more loyalty, and lower turnover (ACLU/ Trone, 2017). Despite this, systemic barriers to employment for the justice impacted persist.

Click here to read the Excutive Summary.


Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform | May 2017

Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform highlights the flaws and inequities of California’s current traffic fine and fee system and offering specific recommendations for reforms that would promote sustainable system funding and the fair administration of justice for all Californians. The report describes a current system that all too often leads to spiraling debt, license suspension, and unequal justice for the poor and communities of color.

Click here to view and download Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform.

Redefining Economic Security & Building Support for Bold Economic Policies

More than 50 million Americans live in economically disinvested communities beleaguered by high levels of joblessness and financial instability. Across California, 3.3 million households are living paycheck-to-paycheck, sleepless at night, wondering how they will pay next month’s rent and feed their families. This reality would be hidden if we used an antiquated measure like the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) to determine the economic viability of the people of California. It is time to stop tinkering around the edges of policy, with economic rules centered on the notion that the market itself is natural, moral and will make us all more prosperous. We must begin to put theoretical debates about how to reduce poverty, improve financial stability and address long-standing racial inequities to the test. All around us are amplified calls to move beyond defensive strategies and incremental steps to bigger, bolder actions.


Exploring Guaranteed Income Through A Racial And Gender Justice Lens | June 2019

Race- and gender-based wealth inequities are two of the greatest failures of the American economy. Economic policy choices and practices put forth by those in power, such as the GI Bill and redlining, created wealth-building opportunities for white men but established barriers for everyone else. This issue brief explores to what extent and under what type of design a guaranteed income program, that is usually discussed as a way to boost regular incomes, could make a dent in racial and gender wealth inequities.

Click here to read the full brief.


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

By Karen D’Souza | Bay Area News Group

Alexis Gasperecz works the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter for veterans. Around 8 am, when her shift ends, she leaves to take care of her three children until about 6:30 pm when her boyfriend and his mother return from their jobs. By midnight, it’s time for Gasperecz to go back to work after maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

Click here to read the full article.


Past the Drought op-ed | January 2019

By Aisa Villarosa, Associate Director of Policy and Research

The Central Valley contains less than 1% of total farmland in the United States; and yet, the region grows nearly half of the country’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts—a total annual value of over $33 billion.[1] This is achieved through year-round efforts of the Valley’s agricultural workers on 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.

Click here to read the full report.

 


Exploring Guaranteed Income Through A Racial And Gender Justice Lens | September 2018

There has never been a more critical, more insistent time to reimagine and implement economic policies to address the rise of extreme racial and economic inequality, and change the rules that govern power and the concentration of wealth. We can and must steer our economy to create a just and fair society that tackles inequality and climate change, and empowers each American to share in the investments that are now hoarded by a select few. The public wealth fund is one key model that has drawn increased study as a way to address these issues.

Click here to read the full piece on Medium.


The Cost of Being Californian | April 2018

Our 2018 report, The Cost of Being Californian (PDF, 1.3 MB), highlights the initial key findings from the 2018 update of the Family Needs Calculator, and indicates that the cost of being Californian, particularly for women and communities of color, has become dangerously high.

Click here to read the full report.

 


Opinion: Income program must be paired with honest dialog on race | November 2017

By Jhumpa Bhattacharya,Vice President of Programs and Strategy

“Universal Basic Income — a policy idea whereby people receive unconditional funds to help meet their most essential needs — is making waves in California. The city of Stockton is set to launch a three-year pilot program. And Y Combinator, which provides seed funding for startups, is designing a pilot project for Oakland.”

Click here to read the full piece.


Universal Basic Income: Reclaiming Our Time for Racial JusticeOctober 31, 2017

It’s been 40 years since we witnessed a Women’s Convention challenging our nation to take up equal rights of women in education, work, and in their personal lives, but this past weekend nearly 5,000 people, mostly women, gathered in Detroit as part of the inaugural Women’s Convention with the theme of Reclaiming Our Time.

Click here to read Anne’s full piece on Medium.

 


Income OutcomeOctober 2017

Anne Price was interviewed by Income Outcome, a documentary project that explores the fundamentals of basic income and how this simple idea can help ordinary, struggling Americans overcome a rigged economy to achieve stability, prosperity, and freedom. She had an illuminating conversation on poverty, racial wealth inequality, and basic income.


Universal Basic Income (UBI): A Silver Bullet to Reduce Poverty? | September 14, 2017

Bay Area Asset Funders Network held a panel discussion, Universal Basic Income (UBI): A Silver Bullet to Reduce Poverty, on September 14th to help both funders and practitioners gain a deeper understanding of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and its potential to address economic inequality.

Click here to watch a full recording of Bob FriedmanNatalie FosterAnne Price, and Sean Kline discuss how Universal Basic Income can foster racial justice.

Mitigating the Impact of Mass Incarceration on Economic Security

The rise of mass incarceration has reshaped economic inequality and poverty and has become a permanent feature of the economic experience for Black and Brown people. The National Employment Law Project estimates that 65 million people in the United States, or approximately one in four adults, have criminal records. Incarceration radically undermines a person’s capacity to find and keep a job and to build wealth. Despite making up such a significant portion of our population, there is still little understanding of the financial status of people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

  • Shift the national conversation on the racial wealth gap and income inequality to expand the focus on the long-term, economic impacts of incarceration by race and gender. 
  • Identify and dismantle the economic barriers that our nation’s criminal justice system creates for low-income people, and provide solutions for advocates and grassroots organizers to use in their work.
  • Strengthen workforce practices and investments to support fair chance hiring.
  • Work in coalition to eliminate the extractive nature of the criminal justice system through fines and fees, bail reform and other local municipal policies and practice.

Insight works with legal advocates in California to fix the broken and unjust system of traffic fines and fees, one of the key levers of economic exclusion. We fight to ensure that lawmakers understand and balance the real life impacts and perils of fines, fees, and license suspension with institutional need for revenue generation.

Insight is a part of the California Debt Free Justice Collaborative, you can learn more here.


Opportunity for Every Worker: Toward a Fair Chance Workforce in the Bay Area | May 2019

The Fair Chance Workforce System project was initiated by Rise Together, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Urban Strategies Council through a shared commitment to ensuring all people in the Bay Area have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family, regardless of race, gender or status. Economic and employment research confirm that employees with records have better retention rates, more loyalty, and lower turnover (ACLU/ Trone, 2017). Despite this, systemic barriers to employment for the justice impacted persist.

Click here to read the Excutive Summary.


Opinion: End criminal justice fees that harm minorities and poor | October 2018

By Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Theresa Zhen

The Bay Area is known for its progressive values. We view ourselves as committed to ensuring everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, is safe, economically secure and able to reach their full potential.

Click here to read the full article.


SB10 Will Hurt, Not Help | August 2018

By Jacob Denney, Director of Policy and Research at the Insight Center

California legislators moved forward in passing Senate Bill 10 to eliminate money bail. While this is needed to fix our broken criminal justice system, the bill as it stands will do nothing to disrupt the legacy of racial and economic injustice that has shaped our state’s criminal justice system. This is why we need Governor Brown to veto SB10.

Click here to read the full article.


Los Angeles County Can Do Better by Its African American and Latinx Populations | June 2018

By Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Vice President of Programs and Strategies at the Insight Center.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation to waive unpaid debt and eliminate county-level administrative fees that are currently charged to people exiting the criminal justice system. Los Angeles County can and should follow suit to help families who have struggled under the burden of a biased criminal justice system.

Click here to read the full article.


Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform | May 2017

Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform highlights the flaws and inequities of California’s current traffic fine and fee system and offering specific recommendations for reforms that would promote sustainable system funding and the fair administration of justice for all Californians. The report describes a current system that all too often leads to spiraling debt, license suspension, and unequal justice for the poor and communities of color.

Click here to view and download Driving Into Debt: The Need for Traffic Ticket Fee Reform.

 

 

Shifting Narratives to Support Policy Change and Build Power

Real change will be possible only when we have changed the cultural narratives and mental models that shape how economic issues and solutions are identified. Narrative and culture shifts are also essential to building public and political will around progressive economic policies that will successfully address racial and gender wealth inequities and transform our current punitive social safety net programs. We are perhaps most challenged to overcome America’s highly dominant language and frame around personal responsibility.

  • Work with organizations and philanthropy to identify ways in which they may be inadvertently playing into harmful meta-narratives around personal responsibility, deservedness and anti-Blackness.
  • Incubate local narrative change efforts focused on arts and culture.
  • Work collectively with nonprofit organizations to develop common language, new frames and narratives across economic issues.

Want to Pass Guaranteed Income Policy in the U.S? Start With Black Women. | April 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed how deeply flawed our social safety net is. It is increasingly clear that what people need most is a direct, sustained, unrestricted cash benefit. The question on many people’s mind is, “How do we get there?” The answer: Start with Black women. Black women have been the subject of the most horrid and false narrative—the myth of the “welfare queen”—which depicts them as dishonest and undeserving of public benefit programs. Politicians have used this narrative to systematically dismantle our social safety net.

Read the full piece on Medium here.


The Power of Narrative in Economic Policy | November 2019

In 2016, the Insight Center embarked on an ethnographic research project to develop a policy agenda to address economic inequality. We were eager to understand which bold economic policies would resonate with a cross section of Americans—rural, urban, liberal, conservative and across race. We wanted to test how policies like baby bonds and guaranteed income held water across groups, and how they needed to be messaged to garner support. What we found was no matter what the policy platform is, our work could fail without first tackling narrative.

Read the full piece on Medium here.


Personhood Before Work | January 2018

Insight’s research on economic security and race reveals that most Americans equate joblessness with a lack of agency, and thus being diminished as a person, or somehow less moral. This narrative is is based in harmful stereotypes rooted in anti-Blackness and discourages investments in social safety nets, which in turn pushes more families and individuals into poverty.

Read the full piece on Medium here.

Addressing the Root Causes of Racial and Gender Wealth Inequality

Racial and gender wealth differences are widening and show no signs of reversing. Many efforts to close a racial wealth gap fall short of understanding the systematic, historical advantage white Americans received from economic policies over time. In some cases, these efforts give us a false notion that if people just make better financial decisions they will become prosperous. Insight believes that we need to direct solutions at the root causes of both racial and gender wealth inequities in order to shift power back to everyday Americans, not just the rich.

  • Advance wealth as the “North Star” of economic security connecting income, work, housing, mass incarceration and other economic issues.
  • Leverage groundbreaking research to support organizing campaigns and advocacy for bold solutions.
  • Provide strategic, thought leadership to nonprofits and philanthropists to address root causes of racial and gender wealth inequities.
  • Broaden reach and support for policies and practices that eliminate wealth inequalities including addressing crippling debt.

Building Equity by Supporting the Whole Student: Findings from Case Studies of Two Colleges in the Working Students Success Network | November 2020

The philanthropic community recognizes that postsecondary education is a critical pathway to economic mobility and stability. In this education brief, researchers from Mathematica and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development provide key ways colleges, funders, and other stakeholders can build and apply an equity framework to ensure all students are successful in college.

Click here to read the full report.


Don’t Fixate on the Racial Wealth Gap: Focus on Undoing Its Root Causes | February 2020

Inequality is a defining American issue, and perhaps no measure more accurately exemplifies the failures and injustices of historic and current-day economic decisions than the “racial wealth gap.” In the current political moment—when bold ideas to rebalance economic and political power, especially by race, are central to public debate—we have the opportunity to reevaluate how we think about racial inequality and how our current economic system has exacerbated it.

Click here to download and share the report.


Baby Bonds: A Universal Path to Ensure the Next Generation Has the Capital to Thrive | January 2020

Our current racial wealth inequities are the result of past and present government actions and policies. Therefore, solutions to address racial wealth inequities must involve government action, with Baby Bonds being a promising policy to begin to alleviate such massive racial injustice. The report amplifies the urgency of the intergenerational wealth gap while distinguishing and acknowledging the racial wealth gap, with a grave imperative to address both through a race-conscious, universal policy like Baby Bonds.

Click here to read the full report.


What the Moms 4 Housing Movement Reveals About the Homelessness Crisis | December 2019

In an act of civil disobedience—and out of the need to secure a safe space to live—members of Moms 4 Housing, a collective of unhoused mothers in Oakland, settled into a vacant home in West Oakland with the goal of raising awareness of the housing and homeless epidemic in California. Armed police from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office came before dawn to evict and consequently arrest the single Black mothers. The images from the scene challenge us to examine how race and gender inequality are embedded in the DNA of our homelessness epidemic.

Click here to read the full piece.


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

Racial wealth inequality in the U.S. has been steadily increasing since the Great Recession. White Americans disproportionately enjoy economic security from wealth, and right-wing media often blame Black people for their lack of financial means. Media Matters spoke with Insight President Anne Price, who leads the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative, which elevates the voices of experts of color. She dispels racist right-wing media myths linking 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

Millennial women represent 31.5% of the female population in the U.S. but do not benefit from many economic policies and systems designed by, and built to meet the needs of, men. They came of age during the Great Recession, a rise in mass incarceration, unprecedented student debt levels, and changing workforce dynamics. These factors contribute to the fact that they are 37% more likely than Generation Xers (those born from 1965-1984) to be living below the federal poverty line and more likely to be underemployed.

Click here to read the full report.


The Color of Wealth in Miami | February 2019

The Color of Wealth in Miami is 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. 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.

Click here to view and download the full report as a PDF.


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, and vehicles. Debts included credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, mortgages and vehicle debt.

To read the full research brief, click here.


The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital | November 2016

The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital is a joint publication of the Urban Institute, Duke University, The New School, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. This report explores racial and ethnic differences in net worth, focusing on Black families in Washington, DC, and shows, through a chronicle of their history in the city, how discrimination and systemic racism have contributed to today’s wealth gap in the nation’s capital.

Click here to view and download the full report as a PDF.


The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles | March 2016

The new report examines wealth inequality across racial and ethnic groups in Los Angeles, shows substantial disparity with Japanese, Asian Indians, Chinese and whites ranking among the top, while blacks, Mexicans, other Latinos, Koreans and Vietnamese rank far behind. “The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles” is the first report to compile detailed data on assets and debts among people of different races, ethnicities and countries of origin residing in the Los Angeles area.

To download the full report click here.


Bootstraps are for Black Kids | September 2015

A study 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. The study shows Black families contribute to higher education with a median net worth of only 24K while white families provide support with a much higher median net worth of more than 168K.

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.

COVID-19 Response

The economic fallout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the failures of our economy and social systems, further highlighting  inequities ingrained into the fabric of our society. While many are focused on a return to “normal,” this should serve as a time where we dismantle the policies and systems that do not serve us and pursue a new “normal” beyond COVID-19. This is the time to reflect and name how we got here, and rebuild and adopt new policies grounded in racial and gender justice. In order to build a resilient and equitable economy, we are working to put racial and gender justice front and center by:  

  • Researching the cascading effects of job loss on wealth and its multigenerational impact in communities of color;
  • Examining how new narratives about deservedness, particularly ones built on addressing anti-blackness, should influence proposed solutions to rebuild the economy;
  • Lifting up and advocating for strategies that increase worker power and dignity and broaden the definition of job quality; and
  • Engaging in policy advocacy and research to end unjust government sponsored debt such as criminal legal debt and public child support system debt.

COVID-19 Fact Sheet III: Black Workers in New Orleans Face Higher Obstacles Than White Workers | August 2020

This fact sheet shows how New Orleans, a majority-Black city that was already grappling with deep-seated racial inequality, is being dramatically impacted by the global pandemic. Not only have Black people in New Orleans accounted for two-thirds of the residents who have died from the coronavirus, but, as workers, they also comprise the lion’s share of the occupations most impacted by COVID-19.

Click here to view the full fact sheet.


If Black Lives Matter, the ‘Welfare Queen’ Myth Must Go | June 2020

The “welfare queen” myth has shifted the way we see Black women, shifting perception and dehumanizing them to the point where their lives are not valued. Rather than look at the root causes of issues such as racial wealth inequality and dismal maternal mortality rates, the welfare queen stereotype shifts blame to Black women and keeps us from adopting policies that would benefit us all.

Click here to read the full piece on The Nation.


COVID-19 Fact Sheet II: Black and Brown Owned Businesses Hit Hardest By COVID-19 Pandemic | June 2020

This fact sheet shows that across the United States, businesses owned by Black, Latinx, and Asian people have closed down at an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February and April of 2020 alone, more than 3 million small businesses closed down across the county. Businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants have been most severely harmed, closing down faster than the national average.

Click here to view the full fact sheet.


COVID-19 Fact Sheet I: Rules of Our Economy Are Harming People of Color, Women and Immigrants During COVID-19 | May 2020

This fact sheet provides an analysis of a selection of jobs most likely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in California. We find that the jobs most at risk are overwhelmingly low-wage jobs held primarily by people of color, women and immigrants. As California grapples with the necessary disruption to everyday life, communities with the least amount of power are dealing with the worst economic consequences.

Click here to view the full fact sheet.


“Normal Is What Got Us Here” | May 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how racial inequities are baked into our economic and health systems, in large part due to anti-blackness. One thing is for sure, we didn’t end up here by accident. What we are witnessing today is the result of pervasive structural racism, and a worldview professing that profits are a higher priority than the actual needs of people and that government should protect markets at the expense of investment in public goods.

Click here to read the full piece on Medium.


Build Black Women’s Wealth, Heal America | April 2020

In this current moment, in which we are looking to enact near-term and sustainable solutions to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can learn how to climb out of economic catastrophe by looking at the experiences of Black women in America. The experiences of Black women provide us a birds-eye view, not only for how racial wealth inequality will widen post-pandemic, but also how difficult it will be for women and their families to recover in the months and years ahead.

Click here to read the full piece on Inkstick.


The US’s Failed Response to the Pandemic Is Rooted in Anti-Blackness | April 2020

With businesses closed and people sheltering at home, there is little doubt that we are heading for a recession — and in a worst-case scenario, a steep recession followed by a sustained depression. The good news is we don’t need to wait for Washington to make moves to protect Black and Brown communities and women who are facing higher levels of economic insecurity due to COVID-19. A lot can be done at the local and state levels, and many are stepping up to fill gaps to ensure racial and gender justice stays front and center in our response to the pandemic.

Click here to read the full piece on Truthout.


Finding Hope in Local Power: Advancing Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice in this Moment of Crisis | March 2020

With businesses closed and people sheltering at home, there is little doubt that we are heading for a recession — and in a worst-case scenario, a steep recession followed by a sustained depression. The good news is we don’t need to wait for Washington to make moves to protect Black and Brown communities and women who are facing higher levels of economic insecurity due to COVID-19. A lot can be done at the local and state levels, and many are stepping up to fill gaps to ensure racial and gender justice stays front and center in our response to the pandemic.

Click here to read the full piece on Medium.


Coronavirus Pandemic Gives Rise to Another Contagion — Xenophobia | March 2020

While issuing a proclamation of national emergency to help curb the spread of one virus, the President and other American leaders have actively promoted another contagion. Nationwide surges in anti-Asian violence are again a norm, buttressed by harmful misinformation and further legitimized by institutions and communities. Far from isolated, this new era of “yellow peril” is the latest chapter in a deep American history marked by racism and xenophobia.

Click here to read the full piece on Medium.

Centering Blackness

Before the COVID-19 crisis, there was growing recognition that structural racism perpetuates unequal and adverse life outcomes for Black people. The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 project shed light on how Black people and their needs have been historically exploited, neglected, and undervalued in the creation of our nation’s culture, economy, and democracy. The disproportionate effects of the COVID crisis, along with the ongoing uprising to end police brutality, is now illuminating this fact even brighter. Yet outside of the visionary leaders and organizations shaping the current movement for Black lives, there is still a great deal of reluctance, even among the progressive-minded, to consider the Black experience as unique and foundational to shaping America’s economic and social policies — and our nation’s collective future. It is time to embark on a serious and sustained effort to center Blackness and the Black experience as a necessary strategy to ensure economic liberation for all Americans.

  • Centering Blackness demands that we create and design policies and practices that intentionally lift up and protect Black people.
  • Anti-blackness doesn’t only impact Black people; it holds back and harms all Americans and necessitates collective healing.
  • Centering Blackness allows for a completely different worldview to emerge, free from the constraints of white supremacy and patriarchy.

Centering Blackness Framework | June 2020

This essay is intended to provide the reasoning, vision and framework for our collective well-being that addresses the intentional disinvestment, dehumanization, and exclusion of Black people from economic prosperity by centering the Black experience. While not exhaustive in its scope, it is our hope that this initial essay can spark dialogue and encourage community members, advocates, organizers, researchers, writers, and artists to think and act together toward an aspirational goal of centering Blackness as a means for economic liberation for all.

Click here to read the full piece.


Black Thought Project Video

Sponsored by the Insight Center, the Black Thought Project transforms public and private spaces into sanctuaries for the expression of Black thought. The Black Thought Project envisions communities where Black people are given safe spaces to reflect, are listened to and honored for their experiences and perspectives.

Click here to watch the video.

 


Black Thought Project

We believe the Black experience is sacred. Worthy of protection. The seed of our nation’s healing. The Black Thought Project, sponsored by the Insight Center, creates experiences where Black people can share their perspectives while others witness, protect, and honor those thoughts.

Click here to learn more about the Black Thought Project.