#ThisIsNotNormal, it really isn’t and must be reversed

by Jhumpa Bhattacharya | January 25, 2016 – East Bay Times

This is not normal, this is not normal, #ThisIsNotNormal. I can’t even count the number of times I have read or heard this phrase since Nov. 8.

For too many of us, the election of Donald Trump and the ensuing barrage of appalling tweets, press conferences, prospective policy decisions and political appointments feel like direct attacks on our safety and who we are.

Click here to read Jhumpa’s full op-ed.

Research Brief Series: Women, Race & Wealth, Volume 1

Women, Race and Wealth is the first in a series of briefs that summarize patterns of household wealth among black and white women by college education, family structure and age using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Researchers from Duke University and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development analyzed data on assets such as savings and checking accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, houses and vehicles. Debts included credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, mortgages and vehicle debt.

Click here to view and download Women, Race and Wealth, Volume 1.

The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital

by Kilolo Kijakazi, Rachel Marie Brooks Atkins, Mark Paul, Anne E. Price, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity Jr.

The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital is a joint publication of the Urban Institute, Duke University, The New School, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The 2007–09 Great Recession and housing crisis erased approximately half of Black and Latino households’ wealth, while Asians suffered the largest absolute lost in wealth (McKernan et al. 2014). Asian and Latino households tended to live in geographic areas that were hit hardest by the housing crisis (De La Cruz-Viesca, Hamilton, and Darity 2015).

But the dramatic wealth disparities between White communities and communities of color long predate the dramatic economic downturn. This report explores racial and ethnic differences in net worth, focusing on Black families in Washington, DC, and shows, through a chronicle of their history in the city, how discrimination and systemic racism have contributed to today’s wealth gap in the nation’s capital.

Click here to view and download the full report as a PDF.

Issue III: Special Series on Retirement Security

Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today

The final issue brief, “Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today,” is available now alongside video content, online resources, and planning tools in a dedicated Retirement Security section of the Insight Center’s website.

Authored by Gabriela Sandoval, the Insight Center’s Director of Research and Chief Economic Security Officer, this final installment explores the current work of colleagues and partners in the field of retirement security. Each partner is listed, with information about their organization, key work they have conducted in the retirement security field, and links to relevant reports, articles, tools, and resources.

Read and download the final retirement piece here.

The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles

New study reveals nuanced story of race and wealth in LA

The new report examines wealth inequality across racial and ethnic groups in Los Angeles, shows substantial disparity with Japanese, Asian Indians, Chinese and whites ranking among the top, while blacks, Mexicans, other Latinos, Koreans and Vietnamese rank far behind.

The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles” is the first report to compile detailed data on assets and debts among people of different races, ethnicities and countries of origin residing in the Los Angeles area. Researchers from UCLA, Duke University and The New School, with support from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, analyzed data on assets such as savings and checking accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, houses and vehicles. Debts included credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, mortgages and vehicle debt.

To download the full report click here.

Issue II: Retirement Security

Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today.

This second of three issue briefs, “Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today“. Authored by Gabriela Sandoval, the Insight Center’s Director of Research and Chief Economic Security Officer, this second installment brings several opportunities together to examine the significance of identifying and promoting safe, accessible and portable retirement savings platforms, programs and products. Now is the time to make retirement security a reality for all Americans.

Retirement security—or, the ability to make ends meet as a retired older adult—is becoming less and less attainable. Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen our nation’s promise broken. America’s promise offers a world where something better awaits the next generation, yet far too many ordinary middle and working class families, committed to provide a good life for their children, are still handed dwindling paychecks and made to pay more each day for the basics. American families were just following the rules for success: go to school, work hard, save, and prosperity will be your reward. The most ordinary things—a layoff, injury, illness or divorce— suddenly mean an end to the life they created, the security they were promised for working so hard.

Read and download the full issue brief here.

Issue I: Retirement Security

Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today.

This first of three issue briefs, “Retirement Security: We must plan for tomorrow, so our families can live for today“. Authored by Gabriela Sandoval, the Insight Center’s Director of Research and Chief Economic Security Officer, this first installment looks at the changing nature of work and retirement, and the intergenerational struggle to make ends meet through parents’ and grandparents’ golden years.

Retirement security—or, the ability to make ends meet as a retired older adult—is becoming less and less attainable. Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen our nation’s promise broken. America’s promise offers a world where something better awaits the next generation, yet far too many ordinary middle and working class families, committed to provide a good life for their children, are still handed dwindling paychecks and made to pay more each day for the basics. American families were just following the rules for success: go to school, work hard, save, and prosperity will be your reward. The most ordinary things—a layoff, injury, illness or divorce— suddenly mean an end to the life they created, the security they were promised for working so hard.

Read and download the full issue brief here.

Richmond opens the door to economic opportunity and security

The report, entitled, “Richmond Opens the Door to Economic Opportunity and Security” was authored by Sharon Cornu, a leading East Bay public policy expert and senior consultant at the Center. According to the report, expanding prospects for economic opportunity and security in Richmond (and comparable communities) are largely a product of decisions by policy makers, improved employer practices, and voluntary agreements.

The report provides an in depth look at UC Berkeley’s plan to build its Berkeley Global Campus (BGC) at Richmond Bay. The Global Campus projects a bold vision to transform the city’s south shoreline into a mix of diverse high-intensity light industrial, commercial, and residential uses.

But, how does the city attract business on the right terms? The report dives into solutions that new businesses need to provide for Richmond’s underserved and unemployed population, mostly made up of boys and men of color.

The study also includes a landscape scan by Mahvish Jafri titled Anchor Institutions and Innovation: A Landscape Scan. The scan profiles six educational institutions from across the country that serve as community “anchors.” These institutions have a great economic impact on the communities surrounding their campuses; all examples serve as evidence of the potential impact of bringing the BGC to the city of Richmond.

Read and download the full report here.

REPORT: Contracting for Racial Equity

Contracting for Equity

Best Local Government Practices that Advance Racial Equity in Government Contracting and Procurement

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) joined forces with the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and author Tim Lohrentz to produce a hands-on issue paper on a topic familiar across governmental jurisdictions, contracting and procurement. Local governments procure and contract for a variety of things – from complex construction or architectural services to supplies, all of which help to keep government running.

To read and download the full report, click here.

REPORT: Bootstraps are for Black Kids

Bootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth, and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes

A new study released today shows that—despite a close to 19 to 1 racial difference in median wealth—black parents demonstrate an outsized commitment to using their limited resources to invest in their children’s education. And that investment pays off; bringing their children to near parity in terms of educational achievement with their white counterparts.

The new study shows black families contribute to higher education with a median net worth of only 24K while white families provide support with a much higher median net worth of more than 168K.

Bootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth, and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes,” is co-authored by William Darity, Duke University; Darrick Hamilton, The New School; Yunju Nam, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; and Anne Price, of The Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

“Data on intergenerational transfers of economic resources for higher education is limited,” said Darity, co-author and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke. “However, this type of parental financial support might ultimately prove to be a decisive factor determining the racial wealth gap in the next generation.”

The study is based on the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) that found that the racial wealth gap might be one of the main mechanisms for perpetuating economic inequality. Using PSID data collected between 1982 and 2013, “Bootstraps Are For Black Kids” researchers began to investigate the relationships between parental income and wealth, parental financial support, and their child’s economic achievement. The study distinguished three types of parental financial support – support for higher education, support for homeownership, and support for “other purposes.”

Researchers found that parental financial support for education has the strongest positive association with adult outcomes among the three categories. Blacks and whites who received any parental support for education experience better outcomes than their counterparts who never received such support for every outcome examined: educational attainment, home ownership, income, and wealth.

“Black parents who are able to contribute to their child’s education are better able to transfer their own socioeconomic status to the next generation,” said Price, managing director and chief asset officer for the Insight Center. “However, it’s important to remember that while parental support for education lowers black/white disparities in education and home ownership, there is little variation in racial gaps in income and wealth.”

Despite the findings that over half of the blacks who received parental help have a graduate education, stark racial differences in both income and net worth persist. Among those who received financial support from parents, the median income is $98,066 for whites and $69,306 for blacks; median net worth is $63,000 and $35,996, respectively.

Parents of both races who are able to help fund their children’s education are better off financially, yet black parents who do so have nearly half of the income of their white counterparts. For example, the median income for white parents who provide educational help to their children is $84,597; for blacks, the median income is $43,103.

Click here to download the complete study.

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092415_BootstrapsGraphic