We continue this week’s theme of “Healing.”
Today’s topic is Levels of Racism: Structural Racism and the Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap and/or Policy
As Inequality.org puts it, “Systemic and structural racism has contributed to the persistence of race-based gaps that manifest in many different economic indicators. The starkest divides are in measures of household wealth, reflecting centuries of white privilege that have made it particularly difficult for people of color to achieve economic security.” This gap means that many Black and Indigenous people and communities and People and Communities of Color are more at risk financially than White people and communities at times of disruption. And with respect to the food system, it means having less access to the means to purchase land, start a business, etc.
Read through the series of charts in this article that shows the widening racial wealth gaps in the United States. Also scroll through some of the graphics in this report on racialized economic disparities in the food system. You might also be interested in this resource from Prosperity Now to see how different states are doing with respect to the racial wealth gap.
- What comes up for you as you take in this information about the racial wealth gap? Due to our intersectional identities, those of us with multiple less privileged and/or oppressed identities (based on gender, ethnicity, physical ability, age, etc.) tend to have greater barriers to wealth accumulation. Take this into consideration in your reflections.
- How often do you consider implications of the racial wealth gap in your food system related work and/or studies, or generally as an eater?
- Read these reflections on addressing the racial wealth gap. Which of these might you act on in your community and/or through your food systems work?
- Talk to others around you openly about money, wealth and inequities. See this as an example for those with privilege.
- Watch this short video about the Racial Wealth Gap Simulation from Bread for the World and NETWORK. Then do the Simulation in your home, neighborhood, community, organization, school or business.
- Talk/write to your politicians about the need to address the racial wealth gap. Check out Prosperity Now for what might be included on your action agenda.
- More coming next week when we talk reparations.
04 Digging Deeper, Time Permitting…
- Read this short article on “The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Racial Wealth Gap” and this short piece from our friends at the Full Frame Initiative on the “resilency tax” of COVID19 on low wage workers and many Black, Indigenous and People of Color
- For some more history around our current situation, see this article on “How the New Deal Hardened Racial Wealth and Home Ownership Inequities”
- Watch this short video from 2009 with john a. powell, now of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society about the historical racialization of opportunity in the United States.
- Check out the resources and initiatives of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development
- Consult the resources and exercises from United for a Fair Economy
- Read the book Toxic Inequality by Tom Shapiro. Here’s an article giving an overview.