Upcoming Webinars

Thursday December 4, 2014 | 11 a.m. PST

Who Benefits from Federal Tax Subsidies?

A national discussion is underway about the causes and effects of income and wealth inequality, including recent attention to the role of the U.S. tax code. The federal tax code contains more than $1 trillion in tax subsidies known to policymakers and economists as “tax expenditures” because they are a form of spending through the tax code.  Of these subsidies, more than half a trillion, $540 billion, support some form of savings or investment (e.g., higher education, retirement, homeownership); but wealthier households receive most of the benefits.

PolicyLink, CFED, the Asset Funders Network, and the co-hosts listed below, invite you to a webinar to explore who benefits from federal tax expenditures by income, race, ethnicity, and zip code.

Speakers include:

  • Lewis Brown Jr., Senior Associate, PolicyLink
  • Amanda Feinstein, Senior Program Officer, Walter & Elise Haas Fund & Steering Committee Member, Asset Funders Network
  • Jeremie Greer, Director of Government Affairs, CFED
  • Benjamin H. Harris, Fellow and Hamilton Project Policy Director, Brookings Institution
  • Heather McCulloch, Director, Tax Policy Project (moderator)


Webinar Co-hosts:

  • Center for Global Policy Solutions
  • Insight Center for Community Economic Development
  • Institute on Assets and Social Policy
  • Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  • Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition
  • UCLA Asian American Studies Center


Past Webinars

February 27, 2014

A Seat at the Table: The Importance of Financial Inclusion and Protection for Communities of Color

Over the past several years, the U.S. banking system has developed many financial tools to help families save and build wealth through affordable and convenient means, including automatic savings transfer, direct deposit and mobile banking.

Unfortunately, many households of color do not benefit from these advancements in banking. Instead, these households often rely on payday lenders or other alternative lenders to meet their daily financial needs. These non-traditional lenders frequently come with costly fees and high interest rates that reduce financial security, limit economic mobility, and make it more difficult for those hit hardest by the recession to rebuild wealth.

Please join the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative for an upcoming webinar to discuss the importance of financial inclusion, consumer protection, and the innovative strategies that government leaders and advocates are implementing to help communities of color improve their financial stability and build wealth.


  • Marisabel Torres, Policy Analyst, Wealth-Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza
  • Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director of the Economic Program, NAACP
  • Melanie Kwon Duch, Innovations Strategist, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund

View the webinar.

December 11, 2013

The Economic Imperative to Address the Racial Wealth Gap through the Federal Budget

The federal government provides a small number of policies and programs built within the federal budget that are designed to help Americans save and build wealth, but how do these programs benefit lower-income households and particularly communities of color? Research shows that the average African American and Latino household has $1 of wealth for every $6 of wealth within White households. This gap in wealth severely hurts the financial security of these households and the American economy at large. One pathway to solving this crisis can be addressed through changes in the federal budget. What changes could be made to make America's asset-building infrastructure more inclusive, progressive and fair for all Americans?

Keynote Speaker :

  • The Honorable Keith Ellison (D-MN), United States House of Representative, Member of the House Financial Services Committee

Additional Speakers:

  • James Carr, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
  • Justin King, Policy Director, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation


September 30th, 2013

Does Child Support Enforcement Create a Legacy of Debt among Black Fathers and Their Families?

Child support enforcement policies create a unique and devastating type of debt, undermining the financial security of low-income fathers and their children and families. Particularly for low-income black fathers, these enforcement policies can both limit the ability to secure a sustainable livelihood and prevent them from accumulating assets and, in turn, close the door to future opportunities for their children. This is particularly significant because wealth, not income, is the best indicator of financial stability.

Anne Price, Director of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at INSIGHT, will be opening up the discussion. Jacquelyn Boggess, Co-Director at the Center for Family Policy and Practice, will discuss a new groundbreaking five-state qualitative research study based on conversations with black fathers with child support orders and the policy implications of these findings.Trina Shanks, Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, will address the impact of child support debt on future opportunities for black children. and Marc Philpart, Associate Director with PolicyLink, will discuss how these issues can be brought to the forefront through organizing and advocacy.

December 19, 2012

African Americans and the Fiscal Cliff: Understanding the Issues and Consequences

Download the presentation here.

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion by the end of the year, automatic tax hikes and federal spending cuts (known as the "fiscal cliff") could send the nation back into a recession. Americans are at risk of seeing higher taxes, reduced Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits and facing even greater economic uncertainty. Like other communities of color*, African American workers, families, and seniors stand to be unduly affected. Additionally, the potential expiration of extended jobless benefits and cuts in education will have devastating and long lasting consequences for African Americans who have suffered disproportionately from the effects of the Great Recession: in the last five years, African American families with children witnessed nearly all of the resources they worked for and saved wiped out, and most are now living in debt.

African Americans were a critical constituency both nationally and in key battleground states such as Ohio, where African-American turnout increased from 2008 and whose vote share was greater than its share of the electorate as a whole. These votes should not be taken for granted: the racial impact of debt reduction proposals must be considered at the fiscal cliff bargaining table. Join the Insight Center's Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative for a discussion about the issues and consequences of the fiscal cliff for African Americans and find out what you can do to impact the negotiations.

*For more information on how the "fiscal cliff" negotiations and outcome will affect other communities of color, click on the following links: Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander; American Indian and Alaska Native; and Latino American communities.


April 4, 2012

How the National Mortgage Settlement Will Impact Communities of Color

  • Featuring: Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler
  • Moderated by Janis Bowdler, Director, Wealth Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza
  • Comments by Jim Carr, Chief Business Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Download the presentation here

In February of 2012, 49 state attorneys general reached a settlement with five of the nation's largest banks which acknowledges that the loan servicers violated the law by routinely signing foreclosure documents without the presence of a notary public and without knowing whether the information in the documents was factual. The settlement provides up to $25 billion in relief to distressed borrowers and direct payments to states and the federal government.

The mortgage crisis affected Americans of all backgrounds but communities of color were hardest hit by deceptive lending practices. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans were more likely to receive high-priced loans than white borrowers with the same credit scores and experienced racial disparities in subprime lending in all regions of the country. This has resulted in higher rates of foreclosures in these communities and has contributed to the widening of the racial wealth gap.

This webinar presents new data on the affects of the foreclosure crisis on communities of color and explores what the mortgage settlement will mean for these communities.

January 31, 2012

Why Communities of Color Should Care About Social Security Reform

Social Security reform is not solely a critical issue for seniors, the disabled, and the dependent survivors of workers who die young – each community of color has a distinct stake in its outcome. Please join us for a dynamic, interactive dialogue discussing:

  • How Social Security reform uniquely affects African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans;
  • How Social Security reform uniquely affects men, women, and children of color;
  • The current political climate, including why conservatives perpetuate the myth that Social Security is bankrupt; and,
  • Recommendations for strengthening Social Security in a targeted, equitable way.

Panelists were members of The Commission to Modernize Social Securityand included:

Maya Rockeymoore (Moderator), President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions
Dave Baldridge, Executive Director of the International Association for Indigenous Aging
Wilhelmina Leigh, Senior Research Associate of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Meizhu Lui, Director Emeritus of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative
Roy Aragon, Public Affairs Specialist, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare


June 17, 2010 - "Social Security at 75: Building Economic Security, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap."

Webinar description: Seventy-five years after the passage of the Social Security Act, it is worthwhile to reflect on its history, current reality, and the future prospect of Social Security, particularly as it relates to workers of color, the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. This webinar features an in-depth discussion that examines the issues at the intersection of race, gender, wealth and Social Security.

Speakers: Kilolo Kijakazi, Ph.D., Program Officer, Ford Foundation; Wilhelmina Leigh, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Meizhu Lui, Director, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative; David J. Pate, Ph.D., Co-Director, Center for Family Policy and Practice; Doua Thor, Executive Director, South East Asia Resource Action Center.

Download the PowerPoint Presentation and our new policy brief.

June 8, 2010 - "Women of Color, Wealth, and America's Future"

Webinar description: Women of color face an enormous wealth gap when compared to the rest of society, one that undermines their future economic security and that of their children, according to a groundbreaking report. The report by former Harvard associate professor Mariko Chang, author of the forthcoming book “Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It,” finds that single women have only one third of the assets of single men. But due to the compounding of race and gender disadvantages – families of color have 16 cents to the white family’s dollar – the economic situation of women of color is tenuous at best. The report for the first time brings together a wealth of data to detail the dire economic realities facing women of color, and on this webinar, we discuss the report's findings.

Speakers: Mariko Chang, Ph.D., Researcher and Author; Janis Bowdler, Deputy Director, Wealth Building Policy Project at NCLR; Melany De La Cruz, Assistant Director, UCLA Asian American Studies Center; Meizhu Lui, Director, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative; Sarah Echohawk Vermillion, Vice President, First Nations Development Institute.

Dowload the presentation slides (PDF), download the report "Lifting as We Climb, Women of Color, Wealth and America's Future" (PDF).


May 17, 2010 - "The Widening Racial Wealth Gap & The Future of Our Economy"

Co-hosted with: The Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and Demos.
Webinar description: The wealth gap between white and African American families increased more than four times between 1984-2007, and middle-income white households now own far more wealth than high-income African Americans, according to an analysis by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University. The findings also show that African Americans hold more debt than assets and at least 25 percent of African-American families had no assets to turn to in times of economic hardship. The fourfold increase in the wealth gap reflects public policies, such as tax cuts on investment income, which benefit the wealthiest and persistent discrimination in housing, credit and labor markets. In this webinar we discuss the report's findings, the reasons for the gap, and innovative policy solutions to close the racial wealth gap and ensure economic security for all Americans.

Speakers: William Darity, Ph.D., Professor, Duke University; Jose Garcia, Associate Director for Research and Policy, Demos; Meizhu Lui, Director, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative; Thomas Shapiro, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University.

Download the presentation slides (PDF), and download the report.

July 22, 2009 - The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative Briefing for members of the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

Download webinar (Windows Media, 57MB, 78 minutes).

Webinar description: Experts of color discussed how communities of color, particularly Blacks, have been affected by today's economic crisis, predatory lending and foreclosures. They presented state options to encourage asset-building, and discussed how to ensure that the Recovery Act is racially inclusive. Policy recommendations that can help close the racial wealth gap are made throughout the presentation.

Speakers: Kilolo Kijakazi, Ph.D., Program Officer, Ford Foundation; Michael Roberts, President, First Nations Development Institute; Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D. Director of the Research, Public Policy and Information Center for African American Women at the National Council of Negro Women; Jim Carr, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition; Maya Wiley, Founder & Director, The Center for Social Inclusion; and Wilhelmina Leigh, Ph.D., Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

June 16, 2009 - The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative Briefing for members of the Media Consortium

Hosted by: Ludovic Blain, Program Manager, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative and The Media Consortium

About: Experts of color discussed how Native American, Black, and Latino communities have been affected by predatory lending and foreclosures, and urged journalists to investigate the racial angle of the economic crisis to raise awareness of the issues and encourage policy changes that will close the racial wealth gap.
Speakers: Michael Roberts, President, First Nations Development Institute; Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D. Director of the Research, Public Policy and Information Center for African American Women at the National Council of Negro Women; and Janis Bowdler, Deputy Director of the Wealth Building Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza.

Download webinar (Windows Media, 32MB, 47:50 minutes) and read a summary of the briefing from WireTap Magazine.


November 12, 2008 - "The Effect of the Foreclosure Crisis on Asset Building in Miniority Communities.

Moderator- James Carr, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition

Panelists - Paul Leonard, Director, California Office, Center for Responsible Lending and Sharon Price, Director of Policy, National Housing Conference

Click here additional powerpoints.

September 24 Webinar on "Employment-Based Strategies for Closing the Racial Wealth Gap"

August 28 webinar on Closing the Business Wealth Gap.