DAY 8: Financial Stability and the Wealth Gap

“For Black families, each dollar creates only sixty-nine cents in total wealth. This is why the wealth gap between Blacks and Whites can continue to grow even when discrimination ended decades ago.” –Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap
According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, white households have a median net worth that is almost 10 times higher than that of Black households. To create an economy that works for all of us, we need to understand and address racial wealth inequality.

Did You Know?

  • In the U.S., the average Black family – with just over $3,500 – owns just 2% of the wealth of the average white family, with nearly $147,000. In other words, the average white family has 41 times more wealth than the average Black family.
  • Black households headed by a person with a college degree have less than 70 percent of the wealth of households headed by a white person who did not finish college.
  • Whites owning homes have nearly $140,000 more in net worth than Black homeowners.
  • White households with bachelor or post-graduate degrees are more than three times as wealthy as Black households with the same degree attainment.
  • 72% of whites own homes while only 42% of Blacks own homes.
  • White households report a median income of $55,656 – nearly $20,000 more than Black households.

Source: Racial Wealth Divide Report

View this interactive map to see income inequality in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Anson, Cabarrus, Iredell and Union counties.
The racial wealth gap matters because of the central role wealth plays in enabling families to both handle current financial challenges and make investments in their future. Families that have accumulated some wealth are better equipped to manage unanticipated expenses like an emergency medical bill or disruptions in household income such as a layoff, without falling into debt or poverty.
Over the longer term, wealth can expand the prospects of the next generation – helping to pay for college, provide a down payment for a first home or start  a new business. As long as a substantial racial wealth gap persists, white households will continue to enjoy greater advantages than their Black neighbors in meeting the financial challenges of everyday life and create generational wealth.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…


Read this article from the Brookings Institution examining the Black-White wealth gap, and read this article from The Harvard Gazette discussing the financial fallout from the destruction of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Take a look at Asset Types Held by Race, by Jenna Ross, author at Visual Capitalist. Reflect on the asset types held by the race you identify with and those of other race identity groups.
Explore these nine charts on wealth inequality in America via the Urban Institute.


Watch How America Created its Shameful Wealth Gap. Solana Rice, co-founder of Liberation in a Generation, explains how a combination of institutional racism and white supremacy created America’s racial wealth gap.


Listen to the Wealth Gap in U.S. to learn what is driving economic inequality and examine how race and zip code affect prosperity.

Listen to this quick excerpt from NPR's All Things Considered about how recent protests have placed a spotlight on wealth inequality.


Make a commitment to seek out and support Black-owned business in your community.
United Way Takes Action:
United Way of Central Carolinas believes everyone should have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become financially stable. By connecting people to job training, employment opportunities and career counseling options, we help create an opportunity for independence and a better quality of life. We accomplish this with nonprofit partners across the Charlotte region, including Cooperative Christian Ministry, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont and Urban League of Central Carolinas.


Take part in this week's service activity: Sock Drive

Nonprofit agencies serving our homeless neighbors have a constant need for socks, as well as current needs for facemasks, hand sanitizer and hats/gloves. NEW items (no used items, please) will be provided to these local organizations active in serving homeless individuals in our region. Learn more and give back.



Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today's content. Click below to download a journal page for today.
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