It has been over 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the declaration of the War on Poverty. Despite the progress that has been made in many areas, racial disparities have actually grown. Countless studies, along with events of national significance such as the events we recently witnessed in Dallas and Baton Rouge and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement have made crystal clear that we all need to do much more to address racial inequities and to close the racial opportunity gaps.
New Blog Series
This reality, combined with America’s imminent transformation into a majority non-white nation, creates not only a moral imperative but an economic one as well. That’s why we’ve asked cross-sector leaders from all over the U.S. to weigh in on what it will take to close the racial gaps in the next 25 years.
This blog series “Closing the Racial Gaps: Together We Can” is timed to coincide with Living Cities’ 25th Anniversary and highlights ongoing efforts across the country–from transforming education, cradle to career, to ensuring that health outcomes are not dictated by the color of people's’ skin–that show promise of contributing to closing significant gaps in opportunity along racial lines. The series focuses on two major themes:
- Race, Opportunity and U.S. Cities; and
- Harnessing Capital to Close the Racial Opportunity Gaps.
Our focus on the role of capital as part of the solution has always been at the heart of Living Cities. Much of this work, however, has been focused on the built environment in specific neighborhoods where markets were failing. But, over the past 15 years, it’s become apparent that market failures have expanded to the larger economy, reflected in stagnant wages, losses of higher paying jobs, falling business start-up rates and a growing wealth gap. The largely place-based interventions and tools that we’ve built over the past 25 years are now grossly inadequate for closing gaps in the income and wealth of low-income Americans, especially those of color.
Because collaboration is in our DNA, we are not setting out to design solutions on our own. These blogs, contributed by our members, grantees, partners and many other leaders, give us great hope that, together, we can do this. Read blogs from leaders on the front lines of social change and share your thoughts in the comment section.