The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative has developed resources for scholars, advocates, practitioners, as well as members of the media and legislative staff  that looks at public policy through racial, gender, and wealth lenses to ensure the development and implementation of  policies that will create an inclusive economy and ensure economic mobility and security for all.

Experts of Color Directory

The Experts of Color Directory features over 180 of the leading wealth building scholars, advocates, community practitioners, policy analysts, researchers, private sector leaders, philanthropists, consultants and government officials from the Native American, Asian American, African-American, Latino, and Native Hawaiian community. These experts are available to serve the needs of journalists, policymakers, and organizations who want to cover and craft policies that can help close America's racial wealth gap. Search For an expert of color, or view the complete list.

Policy Papers

  • "Umbrellas Don't Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard Isn't Enough for Black Americans. The New School, Duke Center for Social Equity, Insight Center. April 2015. Report (PDF)
  • "What We Want To Give Our Kids: Does Child Support Enforcement Create a Legacy of Debt Among Black Fathers and Families? May 2015. Web
  • "The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide." IASP. February 2013. Report (PDF)
  • "Social Security Modernization Efforts to Focus on the Needs of a "Majority-Minority" Population" Insight Center for Community Center for Community Economic Development and Global Policy Solutions. October 2011. Report (PDF).
  • "Diverging Pathways: How Wealth Shapes Opportunity for Children." Trina Shanks and Sharon Simonton. April 2011. Report (PDF).
  • "Lifting as we Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and America's Future." Mariko Chang. March 2010. Full Paper (PDF), Executive Summary (PDF).
  • "Laying the Foundation for National Prosperity. The Imperative of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap." Meizhu Lui. March, 2009. Full Paper (1MB, PDF), Executive Summary. Our foundational paper on the racial wealth gap that highlights the historical origins and current state of economic inequity.
  • Principles for an Inclusive Economy (PDF).The Initiative developed a set of guiding principles for policymakers, educators, business and civic leaders to follow in order to reverse the effect of inequitable public policies and create a more inclusive economy. March, 2009.

Fact Sheets and Policy Briefs

The factsheets below provide a brief overview on the different barriers to asset building in communities of color as well as policy recommendations for addressing them.  

Co-released with the Institute on Assets and Social Policy


Conferences and Presentations

December 3-5, 2012 - Why We Can't Wait Summit - Washington, D.C.
The Why We Can’t Wait summit took place from December 3rd through December 5th, 2012 in Miami Beach, FL, and brought together scholars, practitioners, advocates, and media pundits of color from across the nation to connect, reflect, and share new ways to inspire and mobilize support for closing the racial wealth gap.
Selected videos from the summit are now available for viewing here. Materials from the summit are available here.
March 8, 2010 - Women & Wealth Symposium - Washington, D.C.


  • Comment letter on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) submitted to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on behalf of numerous nonprofit civil rights and community groups.
  • Letter to Congress urging them to reject any proposals to bring unwarranted budget cuts or benefit reductions to Social Security that would have a disproportionately egregious impact on working families—especially working families in communities of color—that have been most harmed by the economic recession.
  • Letter submitted to the National Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform requesting the opportunity of members of the Experts of Color Network to address the Fiscal Commission directly on Social Security reform.
  • Letter submitted to the US Senate outlining policy recommendations that could help close the racial asset gap, including the gap in educational attainment on the proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
  • Testimony by ECON member C. Nicole Mason on behalf of the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU before the U.S. Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council titled "The Disparities for Women of Color in Retirement: An analysis of retirement readiness among racial and ethnic minority women."
  • Letter to Congress and the Obama Administration urging them to consider the effects on people of color when deciding the fate of the Bush era tax cuts.
  • Proposal submitted to the White House urging them to consider addressing racial wealth disparities as part of their policy agenda. We proposed several ideas to achieve this goal for their consideration.

Savings and Asset-Building Grants

With support from the Ford Foundation, the Insight Center awarded grants for research to inform the savings and asset-building field by incorporating the knowledge, perspectives, and experience of experts of color. This community included scholars, policy-makers, practitioners, and others who were selected because of their ability to carry out innovative and valuable research and practice that will positively impact the asset field. Click here for a brief overview of this exciting work.

Other Resources

Policy Link ACCESS to Financial Security for All is a compendium of resources, events, and news from across the asset-building field.  Our partners helped us create this resource as a tool to support people and places interested in creating financial security for all.