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Democratizing Wealth Building to Help Close the Racial and Gender Gap

November 15 , 1:00 pm EST 2:00 pm EST

Persistent racial and gender wealth gaps remain a major obstacle to building financial security for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in the United States. How can we ensure that the financial system, and opportunities to build wealth, are developed to meet the needs of LMI people? Income alone is insufficient: too many people are just getting by.

Traditional pathways to wealth—homeownership, higher education, entrepreneurship, and investing in stocks—have been inaccessible to many, and emerging pathways including shared ownership and blockchain technology offer new opportunities. This is the time for innovation!

The panel explores the relationship between financial security and wealth building, shares key findings from in-depth research studies, pilot programs and deep engagement with LMI families across the country, and spurs thinking about new 21st-century pathways to building wealth for those who need it most.

Social innovators, fintechs, financial services firms, industry experts, employers, and policymakers will all benefit from this conversation.


Timothy Flacke, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Commonwealth

Tia Hodges, VP of Corporate Giving and Employee Volunteerism, MetLife; President, MetLife Foundation

Willa Tellekson-Flash, Director of Community, Public.com

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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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