Just Economy Conference – May 10, 2021
Caregivers have long been the silent and undervalued backbone of the economy, providing nearly $500 billion in unpaid labor. COVID-19 has laid bare how essential caregiving is, and how inequitable supports for care are – caregivers are majority women, and care workers are majority women of color and immigrants. Family caregivers face tremendous economic hardship, often paying out-of-pocket for home care that isn’t covered by Medicare or spending down their assets so their loved ones can receive Medicaid, while care workers do some of our nation’s most important work for poverty wages. This session will show why home and community-based care is at the center of any just and equitable economic recovery from the pandemic, and key to equitable development in the future. America is aging, and we are facing down a generation-defining economic shift that has already hit women and communities of color hard. We must act now to seed a recovery that is immediate, sustainable and just. Investing in caregiving and care infrastructure will have swift and immediate economic impacts because it creates jobs quickly, spurs job growth in other sectors, and ensures financial stability for Black and immigrant women who disproportionately provide direct care for others as well as their own families. This session will offer a holistic view of what it will look like to build the just, equitable care infrastructure that everyone, including historically marginalized BIPOC communities, need, while providing a visionary look at what our nation could look like when we support, value and visibilize all of our care needs. We will examine how care fits into recovery in the next year, while also looking forward to how this issue will shape community investment, equitable job creation and retirement security for the future, including practical steps around research and development, policy and systems change.