National NAACP Convention Economic Opportunity in Your Community Roger A. Clay, Jr. President Insight Center for Community Economic Development July 9, 2012
About the Insight Center Our Mission: • To help people and communities become, and remain, economically secure Guiding Concepts: • Economic equity and Inclusion
Income and Assets • Principal areas of Our Work • Income: • Allows people to become economically secure • Assets: • Allows people to remain economically secure and • Pass on the benefits to the next generation
Key to Economic Security Building Wealth
Wealth determines where you live, where you go to school, and what kind of jobs you get
White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks —a gap that nearly doubled during the recession Communities of color lost 60% of their wealth between 2005 and 2010
The Racial Wealth Gap was Widening Before the Recession $95,000 $20,000
Income is only part of the picture High-Income Whites Middle-Income Whites High-Income Blacks Middle-Income Blacks
Education matters, but alone cannot close the gap • In 1994, Black mothers with a Bachelor’s degree or higher had 64 cents for every similar white mother’s dollar. • By 2007, they had 13 cents. • The wealth gap among the most educated mothers grew fivefold between 1994 and 2007 to $128,000.
The Recession hit blacks hard Significant job loss: Declining income: Loss of homeownership: Nearly half of blacks who lost their jobs have been out of work for longer than 6 months From 2007 to 2009, incomes fell 7.1% for blacks, faster than any group From 2009 to 2011, black minimum wage workers grew by nearly 17%, higher than any group By the end of 2011, 45.1% owned their homes, down from 47.7% at the beginning of the recession The State of Communities of Color in the U.S. EconomyStill Feeling the Pain Three Years Into the Recovery.Center for American Progress,2012.
Debt has become the modern day shackle Before the recession, from 2005 to 2007, black households with zero wealth or debt grew from 35% to 39% For one-halfof all black families with children under age 18, debt has become a the new norm, even for those with the highest levels of education Child support debt makes it impossible for low-income, noncustodial fathers to build wealth
The Importance of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap • The racial wealth gap hurts the nation as a whole. • Reducing inequality is the best way of improving the social environment and quality of life for all Americans. • The task of responding to a demographic shift in which the majority of Americans will no longer be white becomes especially urgent. • Majority of young children are already people of color • Our nation cannot afford to squander its most precious resource in an increasingly competitive global economy: its people. • Without wealth, individual, family, and community capacity cannot be unleashed. • Economic inequality undermines an effective democracy • Wealth inequality leads to power inequality
Opportunities • Occupy Movement • Employment Challenges • Changing Demographics
Insight Center for Community Economic Development www.insightcced.org