April 2019

Financial Services and the Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity

Overview

Historically, financial institutions in the United States have not served people of color effectively or fairly. Even today, people of color have less access to credit, pay higher interest rates for loans, and are less likely to receive venture capital funding as compared to their White counterparts. Serving these markets effectively is not only a moral imperative, but also an economic opportunity to enhance a company’s bottom line.

A follow-up to The Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity, developed in partnership with FSG, this report highlights specific action steps leading companies in the financial sector have taken to create business value by using credit, savings, and investment products to address the unique challenges faced by communities of color. The companies featured in this report—Citi, Oportun, OneUnited Bank, Prudential Financial, and Impact America Fund—have found competitive advantage through their strategies to serve consumers who have historically been excluded.

Top Takeaways

  1. With a deeper understanding of the impacts of structural racism, financial services companies can avoid one-size-fits-all approaches to product and service development and better serve historically excluded populations of color and thus reach expanded markets.
  2. Leading financial services companies are reconceiving products and services to better meet the needs of people of color and are strengthening their external business environment by supporting public policies and norms that expand financial security.
  3. These companies also have strong internal catalysts—including a diverse employee base and a culture of inclusion—that enable them to implement strategies that advance racial equity and business growth.

Find all related material for The Corporate Racial Equity Advantage

April 2018

Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area

Overview

This report presents new data illustrating how the combination of rising rents and stagnant incomes is straining household budgets and stifling opportunity for all but the very wealthy in the nine-county Bay Area, raising serious questions about the sustainability of the region’s economy. The report was developed as part of the Bay Area Equity Atlas partnership between PolicyLink, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California (PERE). Key findings include:

  • Between 2000 and 2016, rents increased 24 percent while renter incomes rose just 9 percent.
  • There are 480,000 economically insecure renter households in the region that are paying $9,000 too much for housing per year, on average.
  • A family of two full-time workers each making $15/hour can only afford market rent in 5 percent of Bay Area neighborhoods.
  • 92 percent of these neighborhoods affordable to working-class families are rated "very low opportunity" on a comprehensive index of neighborhood opportunity. 

How are people using this data? The analyses in this report served as the basis for factsheets and maps developed with Working Partnerships, Urban Habitat, and EBASE to support their tenant protection policy campaigns. The Bay Area Economic Council used this data in their report analyzing policy solutions to the housing crisis in Alameda County. KQED Forum host Michael Krasny used it to open up his conversation with housing activist Randy Shaw about his book Generation Priced Out. The Partnership for the Bay's Future used our data to frame the need for investment in housing solutions.

Media mentions: Housing Is Key to Bay Area's Economic Future, Study Finds (Philanthropy News Digest), New Report Examines the Bay Area's Broken Housing Market (Planetizen), World Journal

January 2017

Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros

Overview

The latest brief from the National Equity Atlas team, Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros, analyzes the relationship between racial and spatial inequality in employment across America’s largest 150 metropolitan regions. We find that in several regions with large racial gaps in employment such as Youngstown and Milwaukee, unemployed workers of color tend to live in a small number of neighborhoods. In these places, neighborhood-targeted workforce development and job access strategies have the potential to increase racial equity and reduce disparities at the regional level, building stronger and more inclusive regional economies. 

Media: Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros (Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity)

December 2018

100 Million and Counting: A Portrait of Economic Insecurity in the United States

Overview

This analysis sheds new light on the 106 million Americans — nearly a third of the nation — who are living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, for whom even a short-term illness, loss of income, or emergency expense can be insurmountable. Produced with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, in partnership with Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California, the report shows that even with low unemployment, economic insecurity is growing rapidly.  Since 2000, the population living at or below 200 percent of poverty has grown by 25 million — more than twice as fast as the nation’s population growth overall. In addition to nuanced data on who is economically insecure in America, the report offers bold policies that organizers, policymakers, business leaders, and others can pursue to foster a more inclusive and equitable economy. Download the report and fact sheet.

See social media assets here.

September 2017

Powering Health Equity Action with Online Data Tools: 10 Design Principles

Overview

Online data tools hold tremendous power to amplify community efforts to advance health equity through policy and systems change. In the spirit of nurturing the growing equity data field and contributing to its evolution, this report, developed in partnership with Ecotrust, offers up a set of 10 design principles for online data tools intended to spur health equity action. The principles include addressing the root causes of health inequities, disaggregating data, and honoring indigenous data sovereignty. For the full list and examples of each principle, download the report here.

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