A report from the Urban Institute calls on civic leaders, advocates, elected officials, and philanthropists to address the legacy of structural racism in the United States and advance racial equity by taking steps to close four large equity gaps between people of color and white people.
Based on interviews and discussions with experts, advocates, practitioners, and policy makers in the fields of wealth building, public education, employment, and justice policy, the report, What Would It Take to Overcome the Damaging Effects of Structural Racism and Ensure a More Equitable Future? (54 pages, PDF), outlines solutions for each of the four interrelated disparities — in wealth, education, employment and earnings, and policing practices — arguing that greater equity in one area could lead to gains in others.
Developed by the Urban Institute's Next50 initiative, with support from the Citi Foundation, the proposed remedies include so-called baby bonds, which would provide all newborns with progressive, publicly funded endowments; education financing reforms designed to ensure that all communities have sufficient resources to deliver high-quality public education; a guarantee of a paid job to anyone who wants to work; and both divestment and investments aimed at redirecting public resources away from racially biased policing and incarceration practices.
The report also highlights the need to fill critical gaps in evidence that can undermine efforts to advance bold solutions that require large investments in as yet unproven ideas. To that end, it proposes three priority areas for knowledge building and sharing — piloting and rigorously evaluating bold remedies on a small scale; adapting microsimulation models to answer "what if" and "what would it take" questions about major systemic reforms as well as the cumulative effects of incremental investments; and quantifying the full costs and benefits of inaction and investment.