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2020 Annual Report: Racial Wealth Equity

2020 Annual Report: Racial Wealth Equity from @prosperitynow
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COVID-19: New Crisis, Same Story! 

In April of 2020, Prosperity Now’s Racial Wealth Divide Initiative hosted three Listening Sessions with nonprofit leaders from across the country with a clear objective: we wanted leaders of color to share the ways that they have shifted program and service delivery and adapted their work in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We quickly learned they are doubling-down their focus on existing programs and innovating to take their services virtual. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the challenges their clients face with health care, employment, income, housing and education. The voices of these leaders and their experiences are captured in this report.

We also created a six-part video series highlighting the grassroots and community innovations that have been developed and piloted to address the challenges of racial economic inequality. We featured nonprofit organizational leaders from Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Des Moines, IA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; Seattle, WA; St. Paul, MN; Tacoma, WA; and Wilmington, DE. Focusing on health, employment, income, housing, and education, we discussed the historical basis for present-day inequality and elevated solutions that disrupt the reoccurring patterns of inequality in communities of color.

Communicating on Race and Racial Economic Equity Guide

Wealth is an important indicator of economic well-being—both in the present and in the future—as it allows people to realize their full potential, use their talents and human capital to innovate and invest in the financial stability of future generations. However, income—and the lack thereof—is arguably as significant an economic determinant of health and wealth. Our partnerships with organizations through the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative (RWDI) provide some important insights for those working on the front lines of domestic poverty alleviation to consider. We have raised awareness about these connections and about key metrics, such as the fact that more than 43.5% of the population lives in poverty, according to the Poor People’s Campaign. We also have developed tools to assist communities that are taking steps to lift themselves. Last year, with the support of our funders, Prosperity Now developed a new resource, The Communicating on Race and Racial Economic Equity Guide, written to address key takeaways from our RWDI work. The guide recognizes that language has the power to liberate or oppress and speaks to its importance for anyone to effectively communicate about and tailor solutions for racial economic equity. The guide compiles lessons learned and emerging promising practices that we find helpful for naming, framing, defining and understanding the issues.

Delivering Place-Based Racial Wealth Equity in Long Island and Central Florida

In July 2020, the RWDI Team launched a partnership to advise the Long Island Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Donor Collaborative. The collaborative is an effort launched in 2018 to create a more financially inclusive and racially equitable community in Long Island, NY, one of the most racially segregated and inequitable communities in the country. The RWDI staff at Prosperity Now brought best practices and technical expertise into the partnership, advising on ways to build leverage and generate greater public and private investment opportunities for Black Long Islanders. The team worked with the community to gain financial access; inspire innovative, suburban-oriented solutions through local collaborations; and foster partnership and shared learning opportunities with national donors. The goal: support the grantees as they build a more equitable ecosystem and address longstanding racial economic inequities on Long Island.

In August 2020, Prosperity Now announced a new project to strengthen the Black community in Central Florida though a partnership with the Enterprising Black Orlando Initiative. The initiative is an alliance of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, BBIF Florida and the Central Florida Urban League. It had the generous backing of Wells Fargo and the Central Florida Foundation. The RWDI Team presented a two-year capacity-building plan to create a community of practice to strengthen Black businesses and the broader community and address racial economic and wealth inequity for Black people in Orlando. With technical assistance from the RWDI Team, the newly-formed Central Florida Community Collaborative will implement a national proven, racial economic and wealth equity model to strategically engage public and private entities to identify the causes and consequences of structural economic inequity and design solutions in partnership with community members and leaders.

Originally posted by Prosperity Now on 2021-09-28 19:00:00

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