The Future Of Financial Security: Tech, Equity And The Role Of Nonprofits

Just Economy Conference – May 13, 2021


Technology continues to transform our financial lives, at times perpetuating and deepening systemic inequities; at others, democratizing financial security in new and exciting ways. Change Machine continues to grapple with the opportunities and challenges that fintech holds for us as an organization and for the people we serve. As a result, we have learned many lessons and uncovered areas of further exploration.

One area of exploration is fintech accountability. As practitioners, how can we hold fintech accountable to not only protect, but promote the financial security of those who have been historically pushed to the margins of economic systems? Simultaneously, what assets do nonprofits bring to the table and what resources do we need in order to remove barriers to financial security, and shrink the gender and racial wealth gap?

In this session, we’ll apply a strong equity lens to the growing role of fintech in anti-poverty work. We will present Change Machine’s Data Equity Principles, covering themes of virtual service delivery, data ownership, advancing racial and gender equity in fintech and narrative change. Together, we’ll plot a future in which nonprofits play a leading role in tying the success of fintech to the success of the communities that we serve.

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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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