How to reap the economic benefits of closing the racial wealth gap?


By 2050, the greater New Orleans area is expected to gain $43 billion in economic output from closing the racial wealth gap. Yes, you read that right – $43 billion. We can and must do better as a state, region and country. The long-term benefits of tackling this societal problem outweigh the short-term obstacles, and it’s the right thing to do – morally and economically.

Traditionally, the racial wealth gap has been thought of in terms of its effect on people of color. but almost all recent research on the subject proves that everyone has something to gain from reducing wage disparities. Also, it is not about redistributing wealth by taking from someone and giving to another.

“Closing the gap” means reducing and ultimately eliminating disparities and opportunity differentials that limit the human potential and economic contributions of people of color. It’s about improving policies and practices to ensure a level playing field for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos in the greater New Orleans area who want a fair chance to create wealth for their families and communities.

When these communities prosper, all of Louisiana will prosper. For example, research shows that the full creative and economic potential of New Orleans residents benefits Louisiana through a 24% increase in the New Orleans economy, a projected revenue gain of 9.5 billion by 2050 and a projected $720 million increase in state and local tax revenues by 2050.

Closing the racial wealth gap in the greater New Orleans area will require forward-thinking innovation and collaboration across all sectors.

Closing the racial wealth gap in the greater New Orleans area will require forward-thinking innovation and collaboration across all sectors. Everyone has a role to play: legislators, industry leaders, community organizations and businesses. Here at the Urban League of Louisiana, our response is SEE Change Collective: a data-driven, community-driven, results-driven initiative committed to identifying policy and practical solutions to close the racial wealth gap in the Greater New Orleans area.

Since its inception, the Urban League of Louisiana has focused on supporting African Americans and other communities to secure their economic self-reliance. The SEE Change collective develops this heritage. At its core, by increasing the wealth of African American, Hispanic, and Latino communities, the SEE Change Collective is a strategy to improve the overall economy and quality of life in the Greater New Orleans area.

To do this, we focused on finding ways to increase equity in three historical pathways to wealth creation: home ownership, business ownership and entrepreneurship, and income and wages. The data is clear: prioritizing these areas is the fastest way to address disparities and close the racial wealth gap.

It’s no secret that home ownership is the number one way Americans are starting to build generational wealth. For many, owning a home is the foundation for realizing the American dream. Yet historically, national policies encouraging home ownership as a generator of wealth have not benefited people of color at the same rate as their white counterparts. The SEE Change Collective explored the factors that promote and hinder home ownership as a generator of wealth.

Similarly, business ownership and entrepreneurship are the most effective ways to build wealth, but significant barriers persist that impede revenue growth for small businesses and job growth for small-owned businesses. people of color in the Greater New Orleans area.

Finally, earning a wage or salary is the most accessible (and widely used) way to facilitate wealth creation. The SEE Change Collective will advance the creation of high-growth, high-paying job opportunities.

Whether it grabs your attention for moral or economic reasons, the fact is that by working together to close the racial wealth gap, we can improve quality of life and security while unlocking economic potential that never has. been seen before in the greater New Orleans area. And that benefits everyone.

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