Policies for Action Announces 8 New Projects Investigating Policy Impacts on the Racial Wealth Gap

In our pursuit of health and racial equity, Policies for Action (P4A) is pleased to announce eight new research teams as part of its portfolio of work investigating policies that will promote health equity, racial justice and ensure all people in America can attain and preserve health and well-being.

With topics including guaranteed income, payday lending, reparations, and public banking, these research projects will evaluate key public and private sector policies and their impacts on the racial wealth gap. This work will be critical in building an evidence base that can inform policy conversations that have the potential to address longstanding inequities in wealth and well-being that have historically and disproportionately negatively affected communities of color. 

The below projects are now underway:

  • Appalachian State University, led by Leah Hamilton and Hope Wollensack, will assess whether guaranteed income facilitates wealth and credit building among Black households in Georgia.
  • Center for Rural Strategies, led by Tim Lampkin, Emmitt Y. Riley III, and Gabe Schwartzman, will examine the impacts of predatory lending policies on Black communities living in the Mississippi Delta. 
  • Dēmos: A Network for Ideas and Action, Ltd., led by Lebaron Sims and Andy Morrison, will examine the potential impacts of implementing proposed public banking models on community asset ownership and governance in communities of color.
  • Duke University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, led by William Darity Jr. and Fenaba Addo, will examine the effectiveness of various policies aimed at erasing Black-white wealth inequity, including universal programs applicable to all Americans, indirect programs targeted exclusively at Black American wealth accumulation, and direct monetary payments to support Black American wealth accumulation.
  • Equity and Transformation, led by Rachel Pyon, will evaluate the effects of guaranteed income on formerly incarcerated people in Illinois.
  • Multiplier, led by Hilary Abell, Cynthia Hewitt, Robynn Cox, and Taura Taylor, will evaluate the benefits of employee ownership for Black workers and examine which targeted strategies are needed to ensure the benefits of employee ownership extend to Black business owners and Black workers. 
  • University of California, Davis, led by Bettina Ng’weno and Mark Cooper, will analyze public input from two statewide reparations processes for Black and Native Californians and engage Black, Native, Asian, and Latinx owners of land-based businesses, advocates, and CA State staff in analyzing climate and agricultural programs for racial disparities.
  • University of California, Los Angeles, led by Lauren van Schilfgaarde, will map current Tribal taxation laws, state legislation addressing dual taxation, and Tribal-state taxation agreements, allowing the research team to trace the economic impact of these policies.

Public and private sector policies have the potential to have profound effects on the economic security of families and communities of color. The research underway by these new research teams, and of others, will be critical in helping define which policies have the greatest chance of helping to eliminate the racial wealth gap in America and, in turn, move the country closer to achieving racial and health equity for all. 

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