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Racial equity can be defined as "the condition that would be achieved if one's race identity no longer influenced how one fares." (from "Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture" by Equity in the Center). This collection focuses on racial equity and also includes works that explore the larger diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework. Our aim is to raise awareness about funding for racial equity efforts as well as activities in the social sector meant to realize racial equity. The collection is part of Candid's Funding for racial equity special issue website.

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"Endless Walk!" by Rayhane saber licensed through Unsplash

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What Everyone Should Know about Designing Equity-Minded Paid Work-Based Learning Opportunities for College Students

September 13, 2022

Despite the growing popularity of WBL, the community college and workforce development fields need greater transparency and clarity on the design of these programs to broaden workforce pathways, ensure the transferability of exemplary program models, and support the advancement of equitable outcomes for all students, especially learners from historically underserved and underprivileged backgrounds. In this report, we highlight case studies of emerging program models across the United States to understand the motivation, goals, and design of paid WBL opportunities available at two-year colleges. This report outlines four recommendations for community college leaders and state policymakers. Findings from this study have important implications for state policymakers and college stakeholders in career services, academic advising, and workforce development.

Toward Black Full Employment: A Subsidized Employment Proposal

September 8, 2022

From at least as early as the 1960s to today, the Black unemployment rate has been about twice the white unemployment rate.1 This stable unemployment rate disparity means that no intervention to achieve equal employment opportunities for Black Americans has had any significant success in the past 60 years.A large subsidized employment program could finally break this two-to-one, Black-to-white unemployment rate ratio. Subsidized employment programs use government funding to cover some or all of the wage costs for hiring employees. By substantially reducing the cost of employees to organizations, this policy increases the demand for workers. A subsidized employment program targeting job creation in communities suffering from persistently high rates of joblessness would improve employment prospects for everyone living in such communities, but it would disproportionately benefit Black people because Black communities tend to have high rates of joblessness.In recent years, a number of economists and economic policy organizations have put forth subsidized employment proposals.2 This report will discuss the potential of a federal subsidized employment program to reduce the high joblessness among Black Americans and sketch some design features that would make that program more effective at addressing Black joblessness.

High Joblessness for Black Youth: More Than 500,000 Jobs are Needed

August 3, 2022

Black youth should have a higher rate of employment than white youth since they have a greater need to work. In general, Black youth have less wealth and a higher poverty rate than white youth. Black youth are less likely to pursue a bachelor's or advanced degree, and, if they do, they are more likely to drop out of college than white youth. Black youth are more likely to start a family before 25 than white youth. Unfortunately, because of antiblack discrimination in the labor market and other factors, Black youth work less than white youth. There is a very high rate of joblessness among Black youth relative to their white peers — higher than even that suggested by the unemployment rate. This high rate of joblessness sets many Black youths on a troubled path into adulthood, a path that will also cause difficulties for their children.

Disproportionately Impacted: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap through Student Loan Cancellation, Payment Reforms, and Investment in College Affordability

June 8, 2022

In this paper, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) explore the disproportionate impact of student debt on Black borrowers. We also make recommendations to address the dual student loan and college affordability crises through federal policies and executive action. These steps include administrative action to extend the student loan payment pause; ensure a smooth transition of loan accounts to new servicers; provide increased protections for borrowers, particularly those who are victims of predatory lending and for-profit colleges; improve existing repayment options, including Income-Driven Repayment (IDR); and invest in college affordability through federal grants like the Pell Grant, a federal free community college program, and support for student basic needs.

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity

May 12, 2022

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity is a report by Race Forward and PolicyLink  that describes the work that commenced in partnership with federal agency offices, considers observations and lessons learned along the way, and discusses efforts that must continue at the federal level to fully realize the intentions of the executive order and move this country toward a more racially just future.Race Forward and PolicyLink co-led a Racial Equity Governing Pilot Project with federal agencies in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022. This report discusses critical elements of these partnership pilots and lessons to inform and support the longer term aspirations of the federal government to become actively antiracist. 

Researchers Should Understand and Adapt Race and Ethnicity Data That Change Over Time

March 31, 2022

Embedding race equity principles into supports provided for young people who age out of foster care can better prepare them for a successful transition into adulthood. Child welfare practitioners and policymakers must consider how race and racism affect a young person's child welfare experience and the services and supports they receive. For example, practitioners and policymakers should understand how employment program outcomes vary by race/ethnicity, or the ways in which access to culturally competent sexual and reproductive health care varies by race/ethnicity. This focus on race equity principles ensures that all young people have access to services tailored to their needs.For practitioners and policymakers to accurately interpret data and make decisions about programming for all racial and ethnic groups, researchers must be able to capture someone's racial and ethnic identity alongside their outcomes. One common resource available to researchers who want to examine outcomes over time is panel, or longitudinal, data, for which the same people are repeatedly and regularly surveyed over an extended period of time. However, researchers should carefully consider how they use these data in analysis because individuals' responses to race/ethnicity and other demographic variables may change over time. When researchers treat race/ethnicity as an unchanging variable they potentially miss important equity considerations.Reviews of panel data show that responses to questions on racial and ethnic identity can and do change over time. While this is a fairly common occurrence in longitudinal data for respondents of all ages (adolescence through adulthood), such changes may be particularly meaningful for young people aging out of foster care. These young people's child welfare experiences (e.g., frequent moves, lack of information about family history, placement in foster homes with parents of a different racial and ethnic identity) may leave them without the information needed to form a healthy racial and ethnic identity. During the transition to adulthood, implicit and explicit biases around racial and ethnic identity from both individuals and systems can create opportunities and barriers at key moments in life, such as pursing postsecondary education or attaining first jobs. Despite the potential fluidity of racial and ethnic identity, however, this variable is commonly treated as static and unchanging in analysis. To date, there are few resources to guide researchers in designing and conducting analyses that both honor the racial and ethnic identities of young people and maximize the reliability of the data.In this brief, we first provide some background on racial and ethnic identity formation and describe some of the barriers to this identity formation process that child welfare system involvement may create for young people. Next, we qualitatively explore, through interviews with former foster youth, why racial and ethnic identity may shift during emerging adulthood, particularly among young people with foster care experience. The interviews provide context on the importance of honoring a young person's chosen identity as that identity shifts. We then explore the practical implications of these identity changes for researchers by quantitatively demonstrating how small decisions made while preparing longitudinal data for analysis can produce completely different results.After describing patterns of racial and ethnic changes observed in our dataset, we then undertake what we call a "three-approach analysis" in which we repeat the same analysis three different ways, with the only change being how we prepare the racial and ethnic data. We conclude by discussing the equity implications of being transparent and detailed when describing how racial and ethnic identity data is used in research studies.

The Jobs Crisis for Black Men is a Lot Worse Than You Think

December 8, 2021

The problem of joblessness for Black men is on average three times worse than what is generally assumed. We typically assess joblessness based on the unemployment rate, but prime-age (ages 25 to 54) Black men's employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) lags the EPOPs of prime-age white, Latinx, and Asian men by over ten percentage points. Among prime-age men, Black men's EPOP is an outlier.The white-Black EPOP jobs gap is about three times the unemployment rate jobs gap during a period of moderately high unemployment. When we use the unemployment rate to understand joblessness for Black men, we grossly underestimate the problem, the harm it causes to Black communities, and the need for bold policy interventions. If we could close the white-Black EPOP jobs gap, we could add about $30 billion annually to Black communities and make a significant reduction in Black poverty.This report calculates the white-Black unemployment rate and EPOP jobs gaps during periods of "low," "moderate," and "high" Black unemployment. Using 2014 as the year for "moderate" unemployment, the analysis finds that for Black men to have a similar EPOP to white, Latinx, and Asian men would have required 947,000 jobs, 2.8 times the number to close the unemployment rate gap.A problem with the official labor market statistics is that they do not include the Black men who are incarcerated or allow us to evaluate the economic impact of the higher mortality rate of Black men. Prime-age Black men who are incarcerated or deceased still have children, family members, and partners who, under different circumstances, could benefit from their financial support. When one takes into account the incarceration and mortality rates of Black men, the EPOP jobs gap jumps to four times the unemployment rate jobs gap, and the income deficit approaches $50 billion a year.Addressing the prime-age men's white-Black EPOP jobs gap is one important step in building up the economic health of Black communities. Among the other steps are reducing the high incarceration and mortality rates of Black men.

For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity

October 27, 2021

The nation's first comprehensive racial equity blueprint for federal agencies, For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity provides resources, tools, and a plan for federal agency leaders to implement President Biden's historic executive order on advancing racial equity. Geared toward staff working within federal agencies, For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity also includes tools that are applicable for equity advocates across the nation working inside and outside of government, including:Several key roles the federal government can use to shape racial equityThe transformative potential equity presents for key socioeconomic outcomesGuiding principles that can serve as a common foundation for the work across the federal governmentA starter tool for conducting and refining an initial equity assessmentA tool for agencies to develop a strategic vision and action plan to advance equity, and guidance on how to launch this journey

The Cost of Economic and Racial Injustice in Postsecondary Education

May 11, 2021

In partnership with the Postsecondary Value Commission, we conducted a thought experiment on the costs of inequality in the US education system. Our simulation found that the US economy misses out on $956 billion per year, along with numerous nonmonetary benefits, as a result of postsecondary attainment gaps by economic status and race/ethnicity. The Cost of Economic and Racial Injustice in Postsecondary Education finds that closing these gaps would require an initial public investment of at least $3.97 trillion, but the benefits would outweigh the costs over time. Equalizing educational attainment without increasing student debt for low-income adults could also boost GDP by a total of $764 billion annually.

Advancing Racial Equity in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

March 1, 2021

The NYU Furman Center, together with the Housing Initiative at Penn and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, recently co-authored a report describing these "first-generation" COVID rental assistance programs, based on a survey of 220 programs across the country. This brief draws upon the analysis from that survey, along with additional document review and interviews with selected program administrators. Based on these sources, the brief highlights several lessons about strategies states and localities can use to design and implement more equitable emergency rental assistance programs.

A Racial Equity Framework for Workforce Development Funders

January 31, 2021

The framework was born out of a dire need to do better. Many laudable workforce programs and practitioners are making strides in their communities to improve job opportunities for People of Color. Yet it is not enough. The framework outlined in this report identifies concrete ways to interrupt the systemic racism embedded within the field's practices, policies, and programs; the institution of philanthropy; our own organizations; and the labor market in communities we serve. It asks funders in the workforce development ecosystem to consider how we are using our power, influence, grantmaking, and roles within our institutions to contribute to, or dismantle, this racism.

A Racial Equity Framework for Workforce Development Funders (Executive Summary)

January 31, 2021

The framework was born out of a dire need to do better. Many laudable workforce programs and practitioners are making strides in their communities to improve job opportunities for People of Color. Yet it is not enough. The framework outlined in this report identifies concrete ways to interrupt the systemic racism embedded within the field's practices, policies, and programs; the institution of philanthropy; our own organizations; and the labor market in communities we serve. It asks funders in the workforce development ecosystem to consider how we are using our power, influence, grantmaking, and roles within our institutions to contribute to, or dismantle, this racism.