NinetyToZero coalition launched to address racial wealth gap

NinetyToZero coalition launched to address racial wealth gap

A coalition of leaders and organizations from academia, business, and the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors has launched an initiative aimed at closing the racial wealth gap in the United States.

To help transform an economic paradigm that has led to a 90-percent racial wealth gap between white and Black Americans, the NinetyToZero initiative "seeks to bring deliberate, collective action to counteract centuries of discrimination, segregation, and financial exploitation — so that all Americans have the opportunity to thrive." To that end, the initiative has created a roadmap for companies and organizations looking to recruit, hire, develop, and support Black talent and increase access to capital and investment in Black-owned and -led businesses.

The roadmap includes seven actions that companies and organizations can take immediately: setting internal goals for the hiring of Black talent and measuring their progress in achieving those goals; establishing employee resource groups with C-suite-level champions; incorporating efforts to promote inclusion into executive accountability initiatives; improving employees' access to asset-building tools; setting goals for building relationships with and increasing investments in Black-owned businesses; working more intentionally with Black-owned banks, minority deposit institutions, and community development financial institutions; and setting goals for investments managed by Black-owned or -led asset management companies.

The founding members of NinetyToZero are ACLU executive director Anthony Romero; Children's Defense Fund president and CEO Starsky Wilson; Goldman Sachs chair and CEO David Solomon; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health dean Michelle Williams; Lord Abbett CEO Doug Sieg; McKinsey & Company managing partner (North America) Liz Hilton Segel; Robin Hood Foundation CEO Wes Moore; Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson; SKDKnickerbocker CEO Josh Isay; and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania dean Erika James.

"Closing the racial wealth gap is more than a zero-sum game. When Black families have economic security and agency, everyone benefits," said Moore. "Now is the time to be reflective, bold, and transparent. And we urge and encourage companies and organizations across the country to join us and ensure Black Americans obtain equitable access to wealth, permanently transforming the country's economic landscape for the better."