While wealth gaps are driven by a variety of factors, the path to homeownership and accruing generational wealth is filled with more hurdles for Black Coloradans than for White Coloradans. Government-backed redlining, denying access to home loans and financing for Black borrowers, and other racist policies throughout history have prevented Black Coloradans from attaining homeownership and growing generational wealth.
In fact, the inequality in wealth between Black and White households as well as their levels of homeownership in Colorado has grown every decade since the 1970s. Colorado now has an opportunity to evaluate and quantify the effects of historic racist housing policies to ensure Black Coloradans can attain home ownership, build generational wealth and create more equitable policies moving forward.
Only 25% of adult Black Coloradans have attained a higher education degree, certificate or credentials, and while Colorado has a goal of 66% credential attainment by 2025, the state is on-track to severely miss this goal for Black students. The consequence of persistent wealth gaps is that half of Black families in Colorado are considered low income, and given the growing cost of postsecondary education wealth becomes closely tied to educational opportunity.
Colorado lawmakers have an opportunity to better understand the long term benefits of additional educational opportunities for Black Coloradans and how these opportunities could increase Colorado’s homegrown talent pool and economic vitality.
Criminal Justice Reform
Criminal Justice Reform: It’s no secret that our criminal justice system is broken. Black Coloradans are often unfairly targeted, more likely to be brutalized by police, and face higher conviction rates and longer sentences than White Coloradans.
In fact, recent research shows Black Denverites were more likely to be held in jail before trial and less likely to receive a reduction in charges or in sentence. It’s time for Coloradans to take a look at the impacts our broken and racist criminal justice system has had on Black communities and families over centuries.
Research shows us that experiences of discrimination in health care can lead to a higher mortality rate, mental illness, cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other negative health outcomes. Conversely, access to culturally competent health care and preventative health care is critical to long term health.
Colorado lawmakers now have an opportunity to qualify and quantify how the impacts of slavery and long-term systematic racism have affected Black Coloradans’ long-term health and access to health care.
Black workers in Colorado faced higher unemployment rates than other racial groups and nearly 50% of Black families in Colorado qualify as low income and just 37% are considered middle class. National research shows us that closing the racial wealth gap could increase GDP from 4 to 6 percent, improving quality of life for all.
Colorado lawmakers now have an opportunity to qualify and quantify how the impacts of slavery and long-term systematic racism have affected Black Coloradans’ ability to access and generate wealth.
The lasting effects of slavery and ongoing and systematic racism continue to negatively impact Black Coloradans and communities in tangible, material ways. These racist roots have led Black Coloradans to be wrongfully subjected to government-backed redlining, disparities in educational access, inequitable health care, a lack of economic mobility and inability to build generational wealth, police brutality, a broken criminal justice system and more. These systematic racial disparities have impacted Black Coloradans over generations and have led to a reality where nearly half of Black families are considered low-income. Studies have shown, however, that working to reduce racial disparities benefits society and all communities and leads to greater economic vitality and stability and builds the workforce. In fact, national research shows that closing the racial wealth gap could increase GDP from 4 to 6 percent.
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RELEASE: As Colorado Kids Head Back to School, Deep Racial Disparities Persist in our Education System
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Thursday, September 7, 2023 CONTACT: Sadé Cooper As Colorado Kids Head Back to School, Deep Racial Disparities Persist in our Education System 2023 CMAS Scores Show Wide Disparities between White Students and Students of Color ...
The Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College to roll back affirmative action in higher education is a very clear signal to the country: we are moving backwards. Katherine Casey, chief strategy officer...