By Ryan Velez
A recent study from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) reported on by Black Enterprise has shown that huge percentages of Black people currently have no net worth to speak of in some of the largest Black population centers in the country. The studies, entitled The Racial Wealth Divide in Chicago and The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore, reveal that a third of Black people in Chicago have zero net worth, as well as 32% of Black households in Chicago, compared with 15% of white households in both cities.
The studies have also revealed several other pieces of disturbing information, such as the fact that 65% of Chicago households of color and 66% of Baltimore’s are what is called “liquid asset poor.” This means that they don’t have the savings to use for three months in the event of an income disruption such as a sudden job loss or medical emergency. Households of color in both cities are also three times more likely to be unemployed and living in poverty.
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED, notes that the organization will be working in the two cities to “build the capacity of local nonprofits led by people of color serving people of color, as these organizations are on the frontlines of addressing the most pressing needs.” The eleven non-profits selected include the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Gads Hill Center, Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, North Lawndale Employment Network, and Spanish Coalition for Housing in Chicago plus Bon Secours Community Works, Center for Urban Families, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Inc., Latino Economic Development Center, Muse 360 Arts, and Urban Alliance in Baltimore.
These non-profits will join with organizations in Miami and New Orleans, the two cities currently in the first phase of the “Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color” project. This CFED endeavor is a combination of their efforts with JPMorgan Chase and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. JPMorgan Chase is providing financial support both to develop the reports as well as train more than 20 organizations that are currently supporting wealth building in communities of color.
“Progress requires a strong infrastructure of local, trusted nonprofit leaders of color who have the resources to take on this difficult issue,” said Naomi Camper, head of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Nonprofit Engagement, in a press release.