CBx Daily

Cultural Play To Fix The Racial Wealth Gap

Sep 24

By Earlene Greene

  • Closing the racial wealth gap could net the U.S. economy between $1.1T and $1.5T by 2028
  • The average net worth of White families in the U.S. is $171,000 and $17,150 for Black families

The racial wealth gap continues to threaten the economic stability, social, psychological and moral principles of communities of color and the nation as a whole. Less wealth translates into far fewer opportunities for education, employment, investment in retirement savings and an endowment for future generations. Closing the racial wealth gap could net the U.S. economy between $1.1 trillion and $1.5 trillion by 2028. So how can businesses, influenced by a determined people, help fix the racial wealth gap?

Why This Matters: Momentum is building for racial equity, since White families in the U.S. have an average net worth of $171,000, compared to just $17,000 for Black families. There’s no time like the present for collective action and impact from businesses that can play a significant role in changing the aforementioned numbers to help to close the racial wealth gap. Some corporations have created “supplier diversity” programs that pledge to work with African-American companies, but typically produce low-end margins.  

The racial wealth gap continues to widen as a by product of systemic policies designed to adversely affect people of color

John Rogers, chairman of Ariel Investments, stated that “supplier diversity” should be eliminated and the focus should be on “business diversity”. He went on to explain that this produces high-end margins, creating opportunities in professional and financial services as well as technology. Rogers recognizes this as a challenge due to implicit bias against Black people.

However, businesses can provide ongoing implicit bias education to hold employees- including CEO’s accountable. Helping to remove stereotypes that suggest Black people are only good in sports or entertainment, but not qualified to do complicated tasks such as legal services or investment banking, is good for businesses and communities.

Situational Awareness: The racial wealth gap continues to widen as a by product of systemic policies designed to adversely affect people of color. Recently, the tides have shifted with an impressive display of social unrest throughout the U.S. with people of all persuasions demanding justice and racial equality. Imagine what difference it would make to have an unprecedented number of people outraged and doing the same on behalf of the racial wealth gap?

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