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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Advancing Racial Equity through Federally Funded Public Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Projects: A Data Guide for Local Applicants

September 22, 2022

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.

How Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Can Widen Racial Gaps in Housing Wealth: The Case of Newark, New Jersey

August 30, 2022

Trends in macroeconomic conditions and policy have helped to boost longer-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, over the past year. This has important implications for the wealth gap between white and Black or Hispanic households. The standard narrative is that higher interest rates, especially when combined with higher house prices and lower incomes, reduce homebuying affordability for Black and Hispanic households relative to white households. And this, in turn, implies that these households of color will find that achieving homeownership has become more difficult, thereby widening the racial wealth gap. This report illustrates that under a higher mortgage rate regime, the pace of principal reduction is slower over most of the life of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Using data covering purchase loans on one-to-four family mortgages across the city of Newark, NJ, we also show that Black and Hispanic households buying in Newark obtain higher mortgage rates relative to their white peers and therefore pay more in interest for a slower principal reduction. In response, we suggest that more local policymakers assess the benefits of interest-rate buy-downs to improve affordability, close racial wealth gaps in housing, and better insulate historically marginalized communities from macroeconomic shocks.

Building a Housing Justice Framework

August 17, 2022

Having a safe, affordable, and quality place to call home is fundamental to individual, family, and community life. Across the US, however, people and communities experience high rates of housing insecurity, a reality fueled by historical and ongoing discriminatory practices and racist housing policies. To remedy these and other inequities, a growing number of advocates, organizers, policymakers, and researchers are calling for a structural overhaul of the country's housing system. They aim to dismantle the factors that contribute to housing instability, so that everyone—regardless of their race, income, gender identity, disability, and/or sexuality—can live in a safe, affordable home.This report explores the concept of "housing justice" as a framework for confronting and repairing housing inequality and community harm on a structural level. We unpack key principles and precedents of the housing justice framework, arriving at an initial working definition of housing justice: "Increasing access to safe, affordable housing and promoting wealth-building by confronting historical and ongoing harms and disparities caused by structural racism." Altogether, this framework aims to strengthen our toolkit for addressing housing injustice, a social problem that impacts all systems and that is rooted in historical and current structural racism.

Changing Power Dynamics among Researchers, Local Governments, and Community Members: A Community Engagement and Racial Equity Guidebook

June 22, 2022

Increasingly, local governments seek to partner with research institutions to understand and undo their legacy of racist policymaking and other aspects of structural racism. This legacy includes historical and current policies, programs, and institutional practices that have facilitated white families' social and economic upward mobility and well-being while creating systemic barriers to the mobility and well-being of families of color.This toolkit highlights community-based approaches that can catalyze equitable public policy, programs, and investments by centering a community's expertise. Our aim is to equip local government agencies and their research partners with the tools needed to transform practices, structures, and systems by joining the highly collaborative processes of racial equity and community engagement. The toolkit is designed for local governments but also for researchers and policy experts who partner with local governments.

Scoring Federal Legislation for Equity: Definition, Framework, and Potential Application

June 6, 2022

Federal legislation is fundamental to building a nation in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Since our nation's founding, in many ways, federal legislation has created and exacerbated racial inequities, leaving one-third of the population experiencing material poverty and preventing our democracy from realizing the promise of equity. To ensure the federal government serves us all, we must accurately understand and assess whether every policy advances or impedes equity. The Equity Scoring Initiative (ESI) exists to establish the foundation for a new legislative scoring regime. By scoring for equity, we can begin to create an accountable, responsive democracy.

How Post-Pandemic Tax Cuts Can Affect Equity: An Examination of How State Tax Changes Affected Different Income Groups and Representative Households in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio

February 9, 2022

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.

A New Era of Racial Equity in Community Development Finance: Leveraging Private and Philanthropic Commitments in the Post–George Floyd Period

December 20, 2021

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.

Centering Racial Equity in Measurement and Evaluation: Emerging Lessons and Guidance from Human Services Nonprofits

July 21, 2021

Many nonprofit organizations that provide direct human services are exploring how racial equity and inclusion (REI) and performance measurement collectively inform decision-making and strategies that affect their core mission. Human service nonprofits often hold an explicit charge to increase the well-being of people who have been disempowered, disadvantaged, and systematically oppressed. Starting from this mission orientation, organizations can benefit from guidance, outlined in this report, on operationalizing racial equity values within their measurement and evaluation work and acknowledging the systemic barriers that influence client outcomes. 

Conducting Prison Research with a Racial-Equity Frame

January 22, 2021

The history of slavery in America shapes the experience of incarceration for Black people and must therefore inform strategies to remediate institutional harms. This brief sets forth guiding values and recommendations for grounding prison research in principles of racial equity. These values are intended to help researchers more accurately capture and measure racial biases, and design and conduct research that can elevate and disrupt systemic biases. This brief is part of a larger research agenda for the Prison Research and Innovation Initiative—a five-year effort to leverage research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who live and work behind bars.

"The Black Butterfly" - Racial Segregation and Investment Patterns in Baltimore

February 5, 2019

Baltimore is the 30th-largest US city by population and is a study in contrasts. It has a low average income compared with other wealthy Northeast cities, has nine colleges and universities, and is a magnet for people pursuing higher education but has undergone decades of population loss. A large social sector provides important services to residents and buoys the local economy: nearly every third job in the city is with a nonprofit employer. But this also illustrates the city's limited economic vibrancy. This mix of market and nonmarket forces makes Baltimore an important place to examine the geography of opportunity in an American city.

Structural Barriers to Racial Equity in Pittsburgh

October 1, 2015

This study of Pittsburgh, supported by The Heinz Endowments, focuses on structural barriers that contribute to differences in African American and white men's access to economic opportunities, specifically in employment and entrepreneurship. Structural barriers are obstacles that disproportionately affect a certain racial or ethnic group and perpetuate or maintain stark disparities in outcomes. This report summarizes findings from statistical analysis, focus groups, and individual interviews with stakeholders and African American men in Pittsburgh. A separate document, Barriers and Bridges: An Action Plan for Overcoming Obstacles and Unlocking Opportunities for African American Men in Pittsburgh, outlines our recommendations for improving the economic position of these men.