June 23, 2020, Oakland, CA – On Juneteenth, commemorating the day in 1865 that the last slaves in America were freed, a new essay was released from leaders at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and Economic Security Project calling on electeds and policymakers to center Blackness in economic policies, systems and institutions.
As the nation continues to grapple with a long history of systemic anti-blackness that includes the disproportionate rate at which Black Americans are affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the paper answers the need for concrete actions to take to achieve an equitable system for all.
Among the ideas put forward to center Blackness are adopting policies targeted to increasing Black employment, which has historically fallen behind white employment rates; rooting out racist stereotypes that unfairly shape our social safety net and embarking on a nationwide truth and reconciliation process to address the harms done to Black communities from slavery and into current day policies that keep Black Americans from sharing in economic success.
Co-authors Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Anne Price and Dorian Warren pose several provocative questions in the essay, such as “how might we design new rules and institutions with the core goal of enabling Black people to thrive that would also ensure that all people thrive?” Read the full piece here.
“Anti-Blackness is the foundation of the structures that maintain racial oppression and economic exclusion today,” said Insight Center President Anne Price. “In shifting to a worldview that centers Blackness, we can actively dismantle racism and build a better world for all people of all races.”