The Hill: Lawmakers Debate Bill Mandating Racial Equity Audits at Firms

The Hill, July 1, 2021, Lawmakers Debate Bill Mandating Racial Equity Audits at Firms

House lawmakers on Tuesday debated legislation that would require banks to conduct racial equity audits every two years in an effort to promote diversity and equity.

At a hearing hosted by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, members discussed the Diversity and Inclusion Data Accountability and Transparency Act, sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio).

The legislation would require companies to have biennial independent audits of their policies and practices pertaining to civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion.

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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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