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Improving the quality and reliability of public transit and expanding access to nonmotorized modes of transportation, such as walking and cycling, are key to making progress on the Biden administration's goals of advancing racial equity and tackling the climate crisis, both of which are outlined in executive orders issued by President Biden in his first month in office.Federal agencies have since incorporated these priorities into many grant programs, including those funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, which provides funding for a range of projects across transportation, energy, water, broadband, and more. Many competitive federal grant programs are now incorporating selection criteria requiring applicants to address the equity implications of their proposed projects and to demonstrate how proposed projects will benefit "disadvantaged" communities.Yet many applicants struggle to quantify racial equity and environmental justice and face obstacles in accessing and analyzing the data necessary to do so. In response to this need, Urban researchers have assembled nearly 100 data sources and tools that can help applicants for federal funding make equity-driven decisions about which projects to pursue and help them develop successful, evidence-informed grant applications. Our transportation data guide categorizes these data sources and tools into six relevant categories and demonstrates how these data can be used to address key funding priorities across several competitive IIJA transportation grant programs. The data sources and tools are displayed in the embedded table below. For each entry, we collected key attributes including available indicators, geographic coverage, time span, periodicity, and accessibility. Definitions of these attributes can be viewed by hovering over the column headers in the table.This guide is intended for local governments or organizations interested in advancing racial equity through the pursuit of federally funded public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. It aims to give local leaders the tools to assess the equity motivations and impacts, both positive and negative, of potential projects. We hope it will empower localities to make evidence-informed decisions that simultaneously advance racial equity and climate action.
State policymakers across the country are considering tax cuts in 2022. While there are many reasons and ways to cut taxes, state policymakers should keep in mind that the pandemic's negative effects were unequal and that future state revenue growth is uncertain. This report, using the Tax Policy Center state tax model, analyzes 2021 tax cuts passed in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio, showing how each state's tax cut affected different income groups and representative households from different racial and ethnic groups. In general, states that expanded refundable tax credits provided larger benefits to representative Black and Latino households.
The brief first reflects on gaps in economic opportunity for capital access and wealth accrual in disadvantaged communities and by race, explaining why it is essential to align community development finance and corporate and philanthropic commitments to community need if the country is to successfully unlock more equitable opportunity for all. Part 1 then examines racial equity commitments made between June 2020 and May 2021; the types of organizations and priorities targeted by these financial commitments; adherence to disbursement timelines; and changes in financial products, services, and grantmaking approaches. Part 2 looks at the uses of community development capital, the role of community development finance in supporting disinvested communities, challenges reported in capital deployment, and 11 potential solutions for addressing these challenges equitably. In part 3, "The Path Forward," we discuss how the federal government can more effectively mobilize the private sector and share four strategies for the corporate and philanthropic sectors, in turn. These steps include strategies to maximize current resources and sustain momentum—such as greater transparency and collaboration and embedding equity in investment decisions—and those that can support longer-term, systemic change that extends more flexible and patient financing, responding to the needs with an even bolder commitment, and embracing equity as a business imperative.
The findings of this research demonstrate expanded philanthropic support from individual donors for racial and social justice causes in 2020. The research also found that while donors of color led this growth, they are also beginning to drive a shift in the sources of influence that have historically shaped the charitable community's approach to racial and social justice giving. The report incorporates data from a national survey of 1,535 households, insights from focus groups with diverse donors, and an analysis of case studies on the impact of mutual aid.
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.