Advancing Racial Equity in the City of Oakland’s Small Business Ecosystem

The City of Oakland released its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy with a strong focus on entrepreneurship to build wealth in local communities of color. To support the strategy’s desired racial equity outcomes, The Greenlining Institute founded the Small Business Advisory Group, a roundtable comprised of local small business leaders committed to advancing the needs of Oakland’s entrepreneurs of color. Members include technical assistance providers, community lenders, ethnic chambers, and small business advocates.

With the goal of fostering a healthy and more inclusive small business ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs of color to thrive, the Small Business Advisory Group has developed a menu of recommendations designed to help the city of Oakland achieve the ambitious racial equity and small business goals included in its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy. We hope these recommendations will be useful for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, city councilmembers, the Economic and Workforce Development Department, and Oakland’s local business community, and offer our partnership for implementation. 

Annual Report on Lending to Minority-Owned Small Businesses: An Analysis of 2008 SBA Lending to Minorities

This report card provides data for the best and the worst banks of 2008 in Small Business Administration (SBA) lending to minority-owned small businesses. The number of SBA loans has decreased by 30.3% nationally, including a 39.3% decline in California, due chiefly to the contraction in available credit across the economy. However, the SBA’s inability to maintain the competitiveness of its loan products compared to proprietary bank loans may have also contributed to the decline in SBA lending. Nonetheless, the SBA shows promise for improvement under the Obama Administration.



Autonomous Vehicle Heaven or Hell? Creating a Transportation Revolution that Benefits All

The rapid development of self-driving, autonomous vehicle technology is leading the way to a transportation revolution with three major components: self-driving cars, shared mobility, and electrification. While much has been written about how the coming autonomous vehicle revolution may change transportation for the better, this report represents the first in-depth analysis of a wide range of mobility, health, and economic implications of these three interconnected revolutions for marginalized groups like people of color, the poor, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

Greenlining’s analysis finds that optimistic scenarios for this transportation revolution – including reduced traffic, cleaner air and less space wasted on parking – won’t come true without action by government to ensure that implementation of these technologies recognizes their broad impacts, especially the needs of marginalized groups. A transportation revolution that truly benefits all will need to center on FAVES: fleets of autonomous vehicles that are electric and shared, with rules designed to disincentivize personal autonomous vehicles and to promote affordability and access, along with fair labor practices in this new industry. Without such intervention, the autonomous vehicle revolution could lead us to transportation hell, with a growing mobility divide between haves and have-nots.

Beyond the Stimulus: Opportunities & Challenges in Reforming Our National Healthcare System

Even in the face of economic and financial turmoil, President Obama is lifting health care reform to a top national priority. While the nation’s policy makers are largely concerned with bailouts and stimulating the economy, average workers are increasingly and justifiably worried about their job security and access to health care. More people in this country are losing their jobs every day, adding to the ranks of U.S. families for whom health care coverage and access are difficult and sometimes impossible.

Breaking Down Barriers for Women Physicians of Color

Women of color are severely underrepresented among U.S. physicians and face serious barriers to entering medicine and succeeding in the field. The Greenlining Institute and the Artemis Medical Society conducted in-depth interviews with 20 women physicians from California and around the U.S. to better understand the challenges women of color face in trying to enter the medical field. These physicians described a lack of support from high school and college counselors and medical school faculty, as well as instances of discrimination and unequal treatment. The shortage of women of color among U.S. physicians means that millions of Americans of color lack access to culturally competent care from a provider with whom they feel comfortable.

Building a Diverse Health Career Pipeline

Well-designed programs can increase the diversity of California’s health care workforce while helping young people of color overcome high unemployment rates and establish themselves in solid careers. Because of the need for culturally appropriate care and because people of color are underrepresented in health professions, Greenlining conducted extensive interviews with experts in the field and distilled them into a series of recommendations designed to create a pathway into health careers for young people of color.

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Bush’s Cabinet Diversity Should be the Model for the Banking Industry: Diversity at the Board of Directors of the Twenty Largest Banks

This is Greenlining’s third annual report on board of director diversity at major banks and reflects board of director diversity in 2006. Greenlining’s report addresses a key diversity leadership issue at America’s twenty largest banks. Although the board of directors is only one segment of the banking management structure, it is a publicly available indication that most of America’s banks have a long way to go to meet even President Bush’s cabinet diversity. Presently, one-third or five of the President’s fifteen cabinet members are minorities.