Largest Ever Black Wealth Data Center Launched
Bloomberg Philanthropies' Greenwood Initiative launches Center that will house the most comprehensive and centralized data on racial wealth gaps
As the country’s leading racial economic justice organization, Prosperity Now will incubate the BWDC to accelerate the development and implementation of programs and policies that increase Black wealth. The BWDC will provide access to comprehensive data on racial wealth disparities through its new Racial Wealth Equity Database.
Today, on average, Black families in the United States have one-eighth the wealth of White families. The monumental gaps in Black wealth data have made it very difficult for advocates, activists, policymakers, and business leaders to fund programs to grow Black wealth, uncover solutions, make investment decisions, and create evidence-based policies.
For more than 400 years, Black people have continuously been subjected to systemic racism and denied the ability to build and keep their wealth. This has meant that Black people have had the lowest wealth holdings of any racial and ethnic group in the country. By democratizing data on Black wealth, the BWDC aims to encourage informed dialogue amongst key decision makers about the systems and structures that aid in Black wealth accumulation and extraction.
“At Prosperity Now, we know firsthand that reversing centuries of economic inequities takes intentional, coordinated efforts aimed at dismantling structures that exclude people and rebuilding our economy from the ground up,” said Gary Cunningham, CEO & President of Prosperity Now.
“The BWDC underscores the importance of democratizing data, because the most effective solutions come from those most closely impacted by injustice. The Black Wealth Data Center is a significant advance for the field as it will help us unearth new ways to build wealth in Black families and ensure that we are using the most robust information and tools to create programs and policies that drive towards racial wealth equity,” Cunningham added.
Prosperity Now is honored to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, which funded and launched the BWDC, to give leaders access to the tools and data they need to analyze societal challenges and speed up progress toward racial wealth equity. The Greenwood Initiative is a national program focused on accelerating the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families and addressing systemic underinvestment in Black communities across the U.S.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative selected Prosperity Now to incubate the Black Wealth Data Center because of its impactful work in racial and ethnic economic justice,” said Garnesha Ezediaro, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative. “We launched the Black Wealth Data Center to provide public and private sector leaders with actionable data for policy making and investment decisions and are thrilled that this partnership will help to unlock solutions to addressing the racial wealth divide in the nation.”
“Black wealth data is powerful, essential, and untapped. Our Racial Wealth Equity Database knits together comprehensive data and empowers practitioners and policymakers with reliable data that can serve as the foundation for action,” said Natalie Evans Harris, Executive Director of the Black Wealth Data Center. “By centralizing data from many sources and partnering with leading organizations across the country, we will make it more efficient for practitioners and policymakers to access data to drive their decisions.”
The partnership is one example of how Prosperity Now is transforming the American economy by investing in bold new ideas to drive forward structural solutions to achieve racial economic justice. The Black Wealth Data Center builds on the work of the Prosperity Now Scorecard and the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative, which help ensure data, policy recommendations, capacity-building, and investments are accessible to those best positioned to address racial economic inequality – the people experiencing it.
At launch, the Black Wealth Data Center will host data sets focused on assets, debt, education, employment, homeownership, and business ownership. With more complete data available, the BWDC will serve as a powerful resource for leaders to leverage data to empower evidence-based policy making and investment decisions that will increase Black wealth in America.
ABOUT PROSPERITY NOW …
Since 1979, Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) has been a persistent voice championing economic opportunity, innovating outside of and beyond existing systems to build power for all communities. We advance racial and ethnic economic justice by investing in bold new ideas, and we work deeply at both the grassroots and national level to impact the entire ecosystem. By setting goals for our economy and following through with targeted approaches based on need, we are equipped to drive forward and cement big structural solutions. Gary Cunningham is Prosperity Now’s President & CEO. Learn more at www.prosperitynow.org.