Getting Real About Racial Wealth Inequities: Reflections & Next Steps

Listen to Anne Price, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, and Dorian Warren discuss the realities, myths, and narratives behind racial wealth inequities, and next steps for fostering racial economic justice and equity.


Persistent racial wealth inequity in the U.S. stems from a legacy of deep-rooted, systemic racial and economic injustice. Policy decisions – both intentional and careless – have not only systematically excluded people of color from economic opportunity but have extracted wealth from families and communities over many generations.

Addressing racial wealth stratification has been a key focus of work in the economic security field for more than a decade. Where are we in efforts to tackle racial wealth inequities, and what are our next steps for securing policies that foster equity and opportunity for all?

To explore these issues, the Insight Center partnered with Prosperity Now to host a virtual conversation, Getting Real About Racial Wealth Inequities: Reflections & Next Steps.

Dorian Warren, President of the Center for Community Change Action, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Co-chair for the Economic Security Project, led a virtual exchange with:

The panel discussed the latest research on racial wealth inequities, reflected on past and current efforts in the field, identified strategies and pathways for advancing racial wealth equity, and more.

Watch the full discussion using the media player above, or listen to the podcast by using the audio player below or by visiting the Hidden Truths podcast on iTunes or Android.

 

 

You can follow and add to this conversation on Twitter by using the hashtags #GettingRealAboutRace and #RacialWealthGap and be sure to tag us at @InsightCCED and @prosperitynow.


Additional Resources

 


Episode 12: Juliana Bidadanure

Listen to Anne Price and Juliana Bidadanure discuss Universal Basic Income, unfair social stigmas, and their impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals in need.


Juliana Bidadanure is an Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy at Stanford University. She is also the Research Director of the Basic Income Lab (BIL) at Stanford’s Center for Ethics in Society.

Juliana joined Insight President Anne Price to discuss her work on basic income, a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without a means-test or work requirement.

Originally from France, Juliana shared the different social perceptions between recipients of cash benefits in Europe and those who receive them in the U.S.

She also discussed the narrative around deservingness and how race, gender, and age all play a role in how society stigmatizes those who need a helping hand. She has focused her work on the economic inequalities between generations and the question of what it means to treat young people as equals.

Juliana also described the mission at the Stanford BIL and how her class opens this conversation to all voices who are ready to shape the debate, as well as those who are not yet visible in the conversation.

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


To learn more about Juliana’s work, please visit her personal website and the Stanford Basic Income Lab website.

Stay tuned as her book, “Justice Across Ages: An Essay on What It Means for Young and Old to Be Equal,” will be published in 2019.

Resources Mentioned:

Episode 11: Insights with Anne + Jhumpa

Listen to Anne Price and Jhumpa Bhattacharya reflect on the year’s challenges and accomplishments, and look ahead to the work to be done in 2018.


Anne Price, President of the Insight Center, and Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, joined each other on the podcast to reflect on the trials and accomplishments of 2017 and share their hopes for the Insight Center’s work to foster racial and economic justice in the year ahead.

Anne and Jhumpa discussed the major themes that emerged from their collaborative efforts this year, including the heightened importance of Insight’s work in today’s political climate in which issues of race and identity are shaping politics, government and public policy.

In this context, the duo discussed the importance of keeping the topic of race at the forefront of their ongoing work, stressing the need for more research, conversations, and insights to expose and explore the economic security injustices that people, particularly people of color, are currently up against.

Anne and Jhumpa also discussed how they will be expanding their knowledge to build on historical references to shape public thinking and inspire action to ensure that people and communities become and remain economically secure.

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


Resources Mentioned:

Episode 10: Gabriela Sandoval

Listen to Anne Price and Gabriela Sandoval discuss utility shutoffs, unfair billing practices, and their impact on the health and wellbeing of California families and communities.


Gabriela Sandoval is the Research Director for the End Shutoffs Campaign, a project at TURN – The Utility Reform Network that seeks to address the health and housing impacts of utility shutoffs. TURN is a consumer protection organization that advocates for affordable, environmentally responsible, and quality utility services for California families and communities, particularly those struggling to make ends meet.

Gabriela joined Insight President Anne Price to discuss her work to develop a better understanding of where and why utility shutoffs occur, how shutoffs impact the health and wellbeing of families and communities, and how to prevent them.

Gabriela discussed the causes and impacts of the growing number of utility shutoffs in California, her organization’s ongoing work to identify and map the communities most affected by shutoffs, and the different types of unfair billing practices that can harm consumers.

Gabriela also discussed the need to give greater attention to the structural causes behind shutoffs in the public conversation, and she shared tips for energy conservation, protection against unjust billing practices, and how consumers can speak out and get involved to create a more equitable and accessible utility market.

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


To learn more about Gabriela’s work and the mission of TURN, visit turn.org.

Episode 9: Sandhya Anantharaman

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Sandhya Anantharaman discuss the history, promise, and ongoing debate around Universal Basic Income as a policy solution for economic and racial inequity.


Sandhya Anantharaman is a Co-Director of the Universal Income Project, a California-based advocacy organization working to educate, build support, and organize around Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a “radically common-sense” policy solution for economic and social inequity.

Sandhya joined Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, on the podcast for an in-depth discussion of UBI, including its history, potential, and the many questions and misconceptions surrounding current debates of this progressive policy proposal.

In describing the transformative potential of UBI, Sandhya discussed case studies of UBI and similar cash transfer programs, including the pending UBI pilot in Stockton; the role of UBI in complementing the existing social safety net; and the need to shift the national discussion of UBI away from issues of technology and automation to focus on economic and racial equity.

Sandhya, who is also the Data Scientist at the national, racial justice organization Color of Change, also spoke about the need to complement the “incredibly clear” data behind basic income with more trust-building stories of how it can radically change lives, and society, through its testament to the “unconditional value” of each and every person.

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


To learn more about Sandhya Anantharaman and her work at the Universal Income Project, visit universalincome.org, and follow her on Twitter and Medium.

Episode 8: Dr. Zoe Spencer + Anthony Jackson

 

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Dr. Zoe Spencer and Anthony Jackson discuss state sponsored violence and police brutality against communities of color, and the theory of “post traumatic slave master syndrome.”


Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, welcomed both Dr. Zoe Spencer and Anthony Jackson on the podcast to further discuss their ideas and research presented at the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS) Conference in Montréal, Quebec.

Currently teaching at Virginia State University, Dr. Spencer describes herself as “a Black woman activist and scholar from the projects of Washington D.C.”, who has dedicated her life to transformative action. At the ABS conference, she discussed black women’s resistance in a presentation called, “Sassy Mouths, Unfettered Spirits, and the Familiar Policing of Black Women’s Resistance.” Her presentation also introduced the theory of Post Traumatic Slave Master Syndrome. Dr. Spencer explains the theory occurs “when a black woman’s resistance prompts a violent and aggressive response from state actors who are predominately white males, who have been conditioned and cultured by police departments who have a history of lynching, to discriminate against people of color.

Jackson is a scholar-activist, and graduate student at Howard University working towards building unity between academia and the streets for a transformative working class movement. Jackson and Dr. Spencer presented, “Screaming Genocide: A Theoretical Analysis of State Violence, Mass Incarceration, & The Declining Significance of Black Labor.” In this presentation, Jackson discussed state sanctioned violence, police brutality against black and brown people, and the decline in the need for Black labor. These topics were based on research he conducted to complete his thesis, “The Crisis of Black Labor in Relation to State Policy and Practice in the United States from 1960 – 2015: A Historical Materialist Analysis,” that provided a critical analysis of the root cause of increased police discrimination and violence against communities of color. “Police are agents of the state that carry out the ruling class agenda. If the agenda is created to protect and serve the leaders of the state, the police will follow this rule. Police are here to protect and serve, but who are they protecting and serving?

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


To learn more about their research, review the following article: 

Episode 7: Ellen Wu

 

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Ellen Wu discuss intersections of race, nation, and policy-making as they examine Asian American history and the creation of the model minority stereotype.


A self-describedAsian American history detective,Dr. Ellen Wu is an associate professor of history and director of the Asian American Studies program at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, welcomed Ellen on the podcast to discuss her groundbreaking research on 20th century Asian American history, which she approaches with a critical eye on race, immigration, citizenship, and policy-making.

Ellen’s first book, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority, details the sociopolitical context for the stark transformation of Asian American stereotypes in 20th century America, when fears of the “yellow peril” gave way to an embrace of the “model minority.

In exploring the intricate tensions and contradictions of this history, Jhumpa and Ellen discussed how politics, race relations, and other factors informed the development of the “model minority” myth, and they considered its ongoing implications for racial equity and opportunity in the U.S.

They also looked ahead to Ellen’s next project, a “sort of sequel” to The Color of Success that will provide a critical history of race-making, policy-making, and migration in the U.S. since the 1960s.

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


To learn more about Dr. Ellen Wu’s research, view her faculty profile and follow her on Twitter.

 

Episode 6: Aurora Martin

 

Listen to Anne Price and Aurora Martin discuss PopUp Justice, a community building and social innovation collaborative with branches in social justice, technology, art, and popular culture.


Aurora Martin, former Executive Director of Columbia Legal Services in Washington State and an inaugural 2017 American Bar Association Innovation Fellow, recently left a long career working for justice in legal aid to launch a new social innovation startup that sits at the intersection of technology, art, justice, and popular culture.

Aurora joined Insight Center President Anne Price to discuss this new venture, PopUp Justice, which offers a bold, creative vision of social justice and innovation grounded in community, culture, and technology.

Reflecting on her professional and personal experiences from nearly two decades in the legal aid field, Aurora discussed the motivations behind PopUp Justice, the power and potential of digital technology and social collaboration, and the need to re-envision justice as a community-centered experience shaped by culture and communication, not just the inner workings of the legal system.

“Having worked for justice as part of a statewide legal aid program for many years, I realized I wanted to imagine justice differently – beyond the courtrooms, beyond the halls of power, and into the communities we serve,” said Aurora.

She also described her work on the Rural American Digital (RAD) Lab, an initiative of PopUp Justice, Heritage University, and Whitman College that seeks to harness digital tools and innovations to invest in rural communities, amplify hidden voices and talent, and spark a shift in our national dialogue.

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


To learn more about PopUp Justice, connect with Aurora Martin on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, and stay tuned for the launch of her new website: popupjustice.org.

Episode 5: Darrick Hamilton

 

Listen to Anne Price and Darrick Hamilton dissect the myths and misperceptions regarding the racial wealth gap and discuss potential policy solutions for addressing racial economic inequity.


For this episode of Hidden Truths, Insight Center President Anne Price welcomed Darrick Hamilton, stratification economist and professor of economics and urban policy at the New School for Social Research, to take a hard look at the path, pitfalls, and way forward for efforts to close the racial wealth gap.

Delving into the key drivers of racial economic disparities, Anne and Darrick discussed public policy, intergenerational wealth transfer, the changing nature of work, and how prevailing narratives draw attention away from the structural factors behind racial wealth differences. They also considered bold policy ideas like a Federal Job Guarantee, baby bonds, an economic bill of rights, and other proposals that could foster systemic change for racial economic equity.

“It is a moral imperative for us to try to facilitate a society that allows all individuals to have the capacity to build up their economic security and also to define what is important to them,” said Darrick.

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


Click here to learn more about Darrick Hamilton’s research, including his joint work on baby bonds and a Federal Job Guarantee with William Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.

Click here to read the June 2017 research brief, Returning to the Promise of Full Employment: A Federal Job Guarantee in the United States, co-authored by Darrick Hamilton of The New School for Social Research, William Darity, Jr. and Mark Paul of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and Anne E. Price of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Click here to read Insight Center President Anne Price’s related post, Where We Went Wrong with the Racial Wealth Gap.

Episode 4: Aleah Rosario

 

Listen to Jhumpa Bhattacharya and Aleah Rosario discuss the CalSAC Leadership Development Institute and the value of diversifying leadership to support and advance communities of color.


Aleah Rosario is the Director of Capacity Building Programs at the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC)where she supports professionals and organizations in providing quality and affordable out-of-school time programs. She has also served CalSAC as an endorsed trainer, project leader, and chapter leader, and she is a graduate of CalSAC’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI) for Emerging Leaders of Color.

The mission of LDI is to equip emerging leaders of color in the early education and out-of-school time field with the training and experience they need to advance into higher leadership positions within their organization. This field includes educational programs like expanded learning, after-school programs, child care, early learning programs, and summer programs. LDI hopes to create more responsive programs, policies, and services that reflect the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the young people who attend these programs.

Established in 2012, LDI specifically works to support and strengthen leadership capacity and opportunities for people of color in order to address the stark disparity in racial and ethnic representation at executive levels in their field and the greater social sector. We see, across the nonprofit field of the United States, there is a leadership gap,” shares Rosario. “I can count, often times on one hand, the number of people in these positions that are people of color. Only 16% of nonprofit executive leadership positions are held by people of color and only 14% of nonprofit boards are made up of people of color.”

Rosario and her colleagues at CalSAC know firsthand the value and benefits of diversifying leadership to better reflect, connect with, and support communities and constituencies. We know that the folks who are most likely to be recipients of these services are mostly people of color,” explained Rosario. “Here’s our huge opportunity – diversify the field and leadership within these programs. The people who are working in these programs, serving the children and families who attend these programs, often times represent the students. They all live and work in the same community.

LDI hopes to empower its graduates to diversify the broader workforce and both support and inspire younger generations with leaders who look like them and share similar backgrounds and experiences. “[As leaders] we’re making decisions that really impact the resources of their program, the policies that impact how their programs are run,” said Rosario. “If we’re not seeing the representation of the people that we’re serving in these decision-making processes…are we really serving the young people in the ways they need to be served?”

CalSAC worked closely with LeaderSpring to create the curriculum for the multifaceted program LDI provides. A key component of the program’s training helps participants understand the larger systemic forces behind the racial and economic inequities. We can’t create these trainings and opportunities in a vacuum; we need to collaborate and understand how they [power and oppression] play out in people’s lives and working experiences,” explained Rosario. “In order to combat the discrimination gap and challenge our current systems, we must understand power, privilege, and oppression. This is just as important as understanding the difficult leadership and management skills they are learning at LDI.”

As an alumna of LDI’s inaugural cohort, Rosario shared that a huge part of the program’s success is that it understands and accepts each participant’s own experiences as people of color, which in turn prove highly beneficial in their work with constituents. We were people who needed and attended these programs growing up, so we can often times have a greater effect on those were serving. We’ve been here before. We know what has held us back from reaching the higher-up leadership positions.  

Throughout the year-long fellowship, fellows are encouraged to believe in themselves and to recognize that they already have untapped skills and rich life experiences that can support their work in leadership positions. “For many it may have actually started by having a family or overcoming a challenge that came their way, and having to adapt and step up to the plate,” shared Rosario. They are trained and led through many scenarios, including the process of negotiating salary increases and their next upward career move. In these and other ways, the program allows for fellows who are feeling burnout to recommit themselves to their work in the social sector, often at a higher level that they might not have known or believed they could reach.

“A previous LDI fellow, who before starting the fellowship was on the verge of leaving the field completely, created new connections that provided a sense of re-commitment, belief, and community through networking, support, and peer-to-peer coaching,” shared Rosario. “After the fellowship, they actually applied for and earned a promotion within their organization. This promotion led to a position on the organization’s executive team and now they even sit on various larger leadership committees.”

This unique leadership development program would not be made possible without the aid of numerous supporters, many of whom are fellow LDI alumni who affirm their strong belief in the program by contributing to it and ultimately sustaining it. As funding in this and so many nonprofit areas can be difficult to secure, CalSAC appreciates any type of support and financial investment as it strives to empower people of color to advance their work and roles within their organizations and communities.

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


For more information and to view various professional development resources for the early education and out-of-school time field, visit the CalSAC website. For those interested in applying to join the 2018 LDI cohort, applications will be accepted starting in fall 2017 and the fellowship will begin in January 2018.