Moving Toward Financial Security For All Closing the Racial Wealth Gap through Systems Reform

Two out of three households of color do not possess enough savings to sustain themselves for three months if their income were disrupted; and one-third of African Americans and Latinos have no financial assets at all. Building the long-term financial security of low-income households and households of color involves harnessing an array of resources and institutional supports that enable vulnerable families to thrive and move up the economic ladder. It also requires reforming systems—finance, education, justice, health, and tax—that often strip assets and wealth. Historically, people of color have faced barriers to saving, investing, and preserving financial assets. This has contributed to a steadily growing racial wealth gap rooted in discrimination and supported by policies that disproportionately benefit wealthier households, while offering limited opportunities for low-wealth families. This webinar, the first in a short series, highlighted findings from the PolicyLink report: "Breaking the Cycle: From Poverty to Financial Security for All," and discussed how each system plays a part in perpetuating poverty and financial insecurity for low-income people and communities of color. State and city leaders shared information on promising financial empowerment programs and models.

Featured Speakers included:

  • Christopher Brown, Director for Financial Security, PolicyLink (moderator)
  • Mary Dupont, Director of Financial Empowerment, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
  • Sean Kline, Director, Office of Financial Empowerment, San Francisco Less