man presenting at podium

b&b124 How to close the racial wealth gap – Special Report from CFED’s Assets Learning Conference

Dyalekt and I had the honor of attending CFED’s Assets Learning Conference this year, where a group of policy makers, researchers, and non profit direct service providers come together and share their best ideas and best practices on how to lift people out of poverty.

This year, the theme of the conference was how to close the racial wealth gap. If you don’t know CFED, you have probably come across their research at some point. They were the folks who put out the study that it would take 228 years for the average Black family to amass the same amount of wealth as the average White family today: Yeah, these guys.

This is the first in series of episodes we’ll be doing on the big issues and big movements the conference focuses on. This episode goes over the major problems that need to be solved in the racial wealth gap and next week, we’ll talk about some of the solutions and research on how to close the gap.

Episode Highlights:

Pam: The Assets Learning Conference, their theme this year was bridging the racial wealth gap. CFED were the people who put out the study, if you haven’t read it yet look it up, that it will take 228 years for the average Black family to catch up to the amount of wealth that a White family has today. Which is 17 years shy of how long ago slavery was.

Pam: Over the last three decades, this state is staggering, the wealthiest 20% of Americans have taken 99.4% of all gains in wealth.

Pam: You cannot separate wealth inequality and race.

Dyalekt: You can’t separate class inequality from race.

Pam: Unemployment, in 2008, 2009, in the recession, was close to 9%….So, today, unemployment for White folks is at 4.4%, unemployment for Latinx workers is 5.8%, and unemployment for Black workers is 8.6%. That’s recession level unemployment. Still.

Pam: Latinx people make about $13,000 less, Black families make about $20,000 less per year than the median White household income.

Pam: $15,000-$20,000 is the difference between just getting by and hoping nothing goes wrong, and being able to save, build wealth, and being able to handle emergencies like that. And that is a huge difference.

Pam: ⅔ of Black and Latinx families could not handle losing a job or a medical emergency. They don’t have 3 months worth of savings at poverty level income…Just to put it in perspective, 50% of Americans say they couldn’t handle a $400 emergency. …2/3 of Black and Latinx families couldn’t handle it, compared to ⅓ of White  families.

Pam: Less than 20% of Black adults and less than 15% of Latinx adults hold a 4-year degree.

Pam: On average, White owned businesses are worth 8x more than Black owned businesses, and 4x more than the average Latinx owned business.

Pam: Homeownership still remains one of the greatest sources of American wealth. Sadly, because of Red-Lining in the 60s and 70s…41% of Black households and 45% of Latinx households today own their own homes, compared to 71% of White households.