A conversation about the racial wealth gap—and how to address it
The racial wealth gap has been a widely acknowledged phenomenon in the academic and policy realms for years, and has become an important issue in the run-up to the 2020 election. The difference in the assets and debts of white and black families in the U.S. has been a persistent and pervasive problem. Nationally, white college graduates have more than seven times the wealth of black college graduates and four times the wealth of Latinx graduates, and white single parents have approximately twice the wealth of two-parent black and Latinx households.
On June 3, Governance Studies at Brookings, along with Contexts Magazine, convened an expert panel to discuss the causes and consequences of the racial wealth gap. The panelists also discussed potential policy solutions to address the issue.
Camille Busette, senior fellow at Brookings and director of the Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative, moderated the discussion, which featured: Alexandra Killewald, professor of sociology at Harvard University; Rashawn Ray, associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and co-editor of Contexts Magazine; Thomas Shapiro, professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University; and Tonia Wellons, vice president of community investment at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.