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Equity Challenge Day 12

DAY 12: The Racial Wealth Gap

As the income gap continues to grow in America, working households are struggling to meet their daily needs and find it difficult to build wealth through savings, investments, or home ownership. 

In the Quad Cities:

  • Only 13.4% of QC African Americans over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 53.5% of white Quad Citizens. According to the US Department of Education, an individual with a bachelor’s degree will earn an additional $964,000 over the course of his or her lifetime.
  • Home ownership rate: two-thirds (67.3%) of QC African Americans rent rather than own their homes, while only one-quarter (27.0%) of white QC residents are renters.
  • Nearly half (48.4%) of African American heads of household report that they worried about the ability to pay their rent or mortgage at some point in the past twelve months, compared to only 28.9% of their white neighbors.
  • 1 in 15 (6.5%) QC African Americans has been homeless at least once in the past 24 months, compared to only 1 in 37 (2.7%) white Quad Citizens.
  • African-American Quad Citizens are more than twice as likely to have experienced ongoing problems with leaks, rodents, insects, mold, or other housing conditions in the past 12 months. (White: 12.6%; African American: 30.9%)
  • Nearly half (43.2%) of QC African Americans have run out of food or been worried about running out of food at least once in the past year, compared with only 19.6% of white Quad Citizens.
  • African-American Quad Citizens are more likely to skip or reduce prescription doses in order to save money. (White: 14.5%; African American: 19.7%) 

Did You Know? The first episode of Netflix’s Explained series from Vox dives into the Racial Wealth Gap. If you are looking to learn more about this topic, we recommend watching. In just 15 minutes, it is able to break down an incredibly complex topic.

Today’s Challenge: 

Option 1: Read Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap, a 2017 study by Amy Traub, Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Mescheded, & Tom Shapiro, analyzing the racial wealth gap that exists between white, Black, and Latino households. 

Option 2: Hear from Ruth, an immigrant from Honduras, on how the “toxic stress” of poverty and financial insecurity is impacting her and her children in this 10-minute PBS News Hour special

Option 3: Listen to this 30-minute interview with Dr. Donna Beegle on how she broke the cycle of generational poverty in her family and is now working to help others do the same through the consulting firm she founded. 

Option 4: Journal on your and your family’s experiences of work and money. What career do you have? What did your parents have? Do you or they work in a historically segregated industry? If so, how was that segregation maintained? How does that affect your families earning power?