The so-called American dream is out of reach. A great deal of research confirms what we already know — investments in communities of color are paramount to mitigating racism and historic disinvestment. Existing policy is insufficient.
- White families typically make 10 times that of Black families, one of many financial gaps that come from decades of discriminatory policies and nearly three centuries of slavery.
- There are extreme disparities in employment, home ownership, and housing affordability in the Black community.
- Closing the revenue gap between Black and white businesses would generate an additional $290 billion for the U.S. economy.
The lack of racial equity in how the American economy functions severely impacts Black people, who are systematically restricted from being fully realized participants. Economic equity is a crucial part of establishing holistic racial equity for Black people. It's not just important that Black people be able to contribute to the economy as workers and consumers, but also as owners with the same access to resources and chance at success as anyone.
Investments in community-driven strategies support diversity, equity, inclusion, and allyship. We work to expand access and participation in markets for Black workers, consumers, and business owners, and create more paths of entrepreneurship through building infrastructure for cooperative development, inclusive procurement, incubators, and accelerators.
The future of Black workers
Citizen-led movements help amplify the voice of workers toward growing a strong middle-class economy. We support developing entrepreneurs and business ownership models that can create or retain jobs in our communities, while leveraging innovative partnerships to train workers for in-demand jobs and jobs of the future.
All persons deserve to earn livable wages and benefits with opportunities to build credit, acquire financing, develop assets, and create savings and other investments. We advance policy, practice, and systems change to close the racial wealth gap.
Keisha Deonarine serves as Director of Opportunity, Race, and Justice, guiding the strategy that drives the NAACP's work inclusive economy, race, and justice work. Keisha is a consultant specializing in anti-racism and anti-white supremacy strategic planning. She commits to educating businesses, organizations, and individuals contextualizing and resolving inequitable outcomes that are rooted in our shared Black history and race.
NAACP Empowerment Programs and Hello Alice have joined forces to support Black business owners proactively and advance economic equality for Black communities. With Black business ownership declining more than 40% between February and April of 2020, this is a pivotal step towards putting Black business at the forefront of our economy.
In partnership, we pledge to continue providing a growing resource of money, networks, and opportunities for Black business owners in America.Read More
To champion true racial equity, we need to address the long-standing economic inequality that has left Black communities underfunded and undervalued for centuries.- Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP
The COVID-19 pandemic made the economic injustices against our communities even more clear. We created initiatives to help Black businesses stay afloat.
NAACP collaborated with Beyonce's BeyGOOD Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund to provide business owners with $10,000 grants to help keep them afloat. With Hello Alice, we launched a long-term partnership to deploy more than $4 million in grants of $10,000-$25,000 each to Black small business owners. The funds were distributed through the Black-owned Business Center that we co-created.