Colorado Times Recorder: Can Corporations Walk the Walk on Racial Justice?

Colorado Times Recorder, July 24, 2020: Can Corporations Walk the Walk on Racial Justice?

For months now, uprisings against structural racism have spurred discussions about how to bridge the nation’s racial divides — including the enormous racial wealth gap.

Many are calling on their governments to pull funds out of police budgets and redirect that money into disadvantaged communities. Others are calling for direct reparations.

Calls for stronger representation and community investment are certainly not new, but they have new resonance now. More and more Americans are realizing that racial equity can’t happen without economic equity.

Public policy has a huge role to play here, but so do businesses.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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