Student Debt Cancellation Is A Racial Justice Issue

With many of President Biden’s legislative priorities stalled, pressure is mounting on the administration to use executive authority to cancel student debts — a move that would substantially narrow racial wealth gaps.

In a recent House floor speech, Rep. Ayanna Pressley pointed out that the student debt crisis disproportionately impacts the Black community.

“But for too long,” Pressley said, “the narrative has excluded us and the unique ways in which this debt is exacerbating racial and economic inequities, compounding our gender and racial wealth gap.”

Pressley joined Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer in a December letter to Biden asking that he consider using executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debts.

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Coronavirus Is Making The Case For Black Reparations Clearer Than Ever

Mounting statistics confirm disturbing evidence of racial disparities in reported coronavirus deaths. In Wisconsin, perhaps the state with the most extreme ratio of black morbidity, black people represent 6 percent of the population and 40 percent of the deaths. Those African American deaths have occurred at a rate 700 percent higher than black people’s share of the state’s population. In our home state of North Carolina, black people account for 22 percent of the population but close to 40 percent of the deaths.

So what explains these disproportionately large numbers of black people dying of the coronavirus?

Black people are overrepresented in jobs designated as socially essential but paying low wages in transportation, food and health services, as well as child and elder care.

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The Racial Wealth Divide Hurts The Entire Middle Class

Americans are more aware than ever that America has a race problem — and, more specifically, a racial wealth divide problem. As researchers from the Institute for Policy Studies and I found earlier this year, median white families are 41 times wealthier than median Black families in the United States. As our country becomes more diverse, this shocking racial wealth divide is no longer a challenge for disenfranchised minorities alone. It’s a threat to the entire American middle class. Let me show you how.

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Ten Solutions To Bridge The Racial Wealth Divide

The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform. It has been created and held in place by public policies that have evolved with time including slavery, Jim Crow, red lining, mass incarceration, among many others. The racial wealth divide is greater today than it was nearly four decades ago and trends point to its continued widening In this report, we offer ten bold solutions broken into three categories: Programs, Power, and Process. These solutions are designed to strike at the structural underpinnings holding the racial wealth divide in place while inspiring activists…

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10 Years After The Start Of The Great Recession, Black And Asian Households Have Yet To Recover Lost Income

Today’s Census Bureau report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2017 shows that while all race and ethnic groups shared in the growth in median household incomes during the previous two years, that trend abruptly ended for African American households in 2017. Real median incomes were basically flat among African Americans (from $40,339 to $40,258) and down among Asians (from $83,182 to $81,331), but up 3.7 percent (from $48,700 to $50,486) among Hispanics, and 2.6 percent (from $66,440 to $68,145) among non-Hispanic whites. The decline in Asian household incomes was not statistically significant. As a result of stalled income growth among African Americans, recent progress in closing the black-white income gap over the last couple years has been reversed.

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Co-op Movement Confronts Its Complicated Relationship With Racial Equity

Last month, co-op educators and developers from Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico came together in Minneapolis for the annual conference of the Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE). The group has met annually since 1952. A central theme at this year’s conference was the struggle to build a more racially inclusive co-op movement. While co-ops in communities of color, especially Black communities, in the United States have a rich history, they have often been ignored by what has been a largely white official co-op movement. But that is changing. Me’Lea Connelly delivered the conference’s keynote address. Connelly directs the Minneapolis-based Association for Black Economic Power, a group founded in 2016 in the wake of the police shooting of Philando Castile.

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How Banks Against Wealth Building By Blacks After 2008 Crash

If you get your business news from the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg News or the New York Times or Reuters or the Financial Times or CNBC, chances are you did not hear about a critically important symposium that was held on Monday on the dangers that Wall Street’s biggest banks continue to pose to the U.S. economy and, in particular, to communities of color. Adding to the mystery of how every major business news outlet could simultaneously decide to skip the event is that it was headlined by two famous players in the banking debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The symposium on “Too Big to Fail” was hosted by Howard University’s Department of Economics and held at the campus which is located in Washington, DC – where there is certainly no shortage of reporters.

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Racial Wealth Divide Snapshot: Women And The Racial Wealth Divide

As Women’s History Month comes to an end, we at the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative think it is important to reflect upon how racial economic inequality intersects with gender economic inequality. Overall, women earn lower wages and experience higher levels of poverty than men. This holds for Black and Latina women, who also earn lower wages and experience higher poverty rates than White and Asian women. Most women of color face a double disparity: having lower socio-economic outcomes than men, compounded by affiliation with a racial or ethnic group that—whether male or female—has much lower socio-economic indicators than their White counterparts. Education is one area where women in all major racial and ethnic groups outperform men.

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To Fight Racial Inequality We Need To Rethink Our Economy

Consider these three facts. African-Americans in the U.S. are 6.4 times more likely than whites to be in jail. The black unemployment rate in the U.S. is consistently twice as high as white unemployment. An African-American person in the U.S. today can expect to die 3.5 years sooner than a white person. These aren’t just numbers on a page, they are the outcome of policies and practices that create the systemic racial inequality pervading America today. Last week, the Economic Policy Institute published a report, stating what many of us already know – that in the 50 years since the U.S. government took the decision to document segregation, poverty and racism in America, many of the problems identified half a century ago are still with us. Indeed, some have gotten worse. In 1967, the U.S. had one of its most violent years ever. There were more than 160 urban rebellions recorded in the first nine months of the year alone.

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50 Years After The Kerner Commission

The year 1968 was a watershed in American history and black America’s ongoing fight for equality. In April of that year, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis and riots broke out in cities around the country. Rising against this tragedy, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 outlawing housing discrimination was signed into law. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a black power salute as they received their medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Arthur Ashe became the first African American to win the U.S. Open singles title, and Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. The same year, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, delivered a report to President Johnson examining the causes of civil unrest in African American communities.

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5 Facts About Black People In The U.S.

For the first time in U.S. history, 90% of Americans ages 25 and older have completed high school, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – and the share of blacks who have done so is also at the highest level on record. In 2017, 87% of blacks ages 25 and older had a high school diploma or equivalent. Although the high school completion rate for non-Hispanic whites was higher (94%) than for blacks, the gap has been gradually shrinking. In 1993, the high school completion gap was twice as large (14 percentage points) as it is today (7 points). The share of blacks ages 25 and older who have completed four years of college or more has also roughly doubled during that span, from 12% in 1993 to 24% in 2017.

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No Typo: The Median Net Worth of Black Bostonians Really is $8

The median net worth for non-immigrant African-American households in the Greater Boston region is $8, according to “The Color of Wealth in Boston,” a 2015 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Duke University, and the New School.

This Spotlight seven-part series — which began Sunday — tackles the city’s most vexing question: Does Boston deserve its racist reputation?

And to answer just that question, the Globe Spotlight Team analyzed data, launched surveys, and conducted hundreds of interviews. The Color of Wealth in Boston report, which is part of a five-city study looking at wealth disparities among communities of color, was one piece of information that Spotlight examined.

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