How Much Does Racial Inequity Cost the U.S. Economy?

How Much Does Racial Inequity Cost the U.S. Economy?

$1.9 trillion. Yes, that’s trillion, with a “t.” That’s how much the U.S. could gain in gross domestic product if racial inequity were eliminated, according to a study released this fall by the Altarum Institute and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The study came out in late October, but doesn’t seem to have gotten nearly enough attention. We’ll have more to say about it shortly, but for now, just read it — and spread the word.


An Open Letter to Future Greenlining Fellows

An Open Letter to Future Greenlining Fellows

Dear Future Greenlining Fellow, Hey there, how are you doing? If you’re anything like I was last year, I’m sure you’re freaking out. Between exams and job apps, you barely remember what it was like to have fun. Am I right? Well, I’m here to tell you about an amazing opportunity that may just help you out. It’s called the Greenlining Institute Leadership Academy. Have you heard of it? It’s an amazing yearlong fellowship that provides firsthand public policy experience, mentorship, and leadership development. It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was in your shoes. Fast forward to now, and I’ve been living in the Bay Area…
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Step Up and Impact Diversity Policy in 2 Minutes

Alright folks, it’s time.  The Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWIs) issued proposed standards for how they plan to assess the diversity policies of the financial sector. (Check out my previous blog of how these standards will affect nearly 70,000 banks and other financial institutions.) The short story is that these standards are vague and the reporting is voluntary. The important part is that each of us has the opportunity to do something about it. Regulators are asking the public to send in comment letters to provide feedback by December 24th. If they don’t hear that consumers want a financial sector that is more reflective of and invested in…
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Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job

Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job

“We are not expendable!” shouted a Pastor from Brentwood, a town in Contra Costa County. The Pastor shared the story of his time working in construction, and his boss would frequently tell him: “You’re worthless to me if you get hurt. You get hurt, I’ll fire you.” This was just one of many compelling testimonies shared throughout the day at the PICO Economic Summit held this past Saturday. Speakers focused on the exclusion of people of color from jobs in the Bay Area’s thriving growth sectors like tech and health care. Testimony after testimony shared stories of people excluded from the economy because of a criminal history, homelessness, racial profiling,…
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A Report Worth Reading, and a Webinar Worth Watching.

A Report Worth Reading, and a Webinar Worth Watching.

Today, I am going to attempt the impossible, and keep my post below 200 words. Greenlining’s just finished up a report on what the switch to digital phone service means for consumers, especially consumers of color, called DISCONNECTED: What the Phone System’s Digital Transition Will  Mean for Consumers.  We’ll be releasing the report on the 10th, and you’ll be able to download it from our home page. On December 12, Greenlining’s own Stephanie Chen will be presenting our findings as part of a webinar hosted by Free Press and Public Knowledge: What’s the Hang Up: A Webinar to Understand the Phone Network Transition and Defend Your Communication Rights. That link will…
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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95. Words fail me. Fortunately, Mr. Mandela’s words live on: “Without democracy there cannot be peace.” “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” “No one is born hating…
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Need Stitches? Just $743 Each!

Need Stitches? Just $743 Each!

Do you know how much your medical care really costs? According to Time magazine and the New York Times, the answer is—the sky is the limit. Earlier this year in March, Time ran a special report titled Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us, and a few days ago, the NYT published an article called As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500. Time magazine revealed that some U.S. hospitals charge tens of thousands of dollars more for the same procedure as some other hospitals, even if they’re only a few miles apart. The NYT article profiled someone who got charged $2,229.11 for three stiches, and someone else $1,696…
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Signs of Inequality

Signs of Inequality

Monday morning, Greenlining sponsored a forum on equity issues in California’s state budget, featuring Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and a panel of representatives from groups advocating for policies that promote fairness and justice in a state where a few are doing really well and millions more are barely keeping  their heads above water. It was a fascinating discussion, hopeful and worrisome all at once, but it was what I saw on the way to it that got to me. Walking up Sansome Street from the Montgomery BART station in San Francisco’s financial district, I found myself walking by a homeless person on the sidewalk as, right behind him, a…
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