Building a Just Economy

Imagine an economy where everyone can participate and everyone benefits, no matter their race or where they live. Our north star is a fundamental shift to an economic system that is values-driven, which we call the Greenlined Economy

Financial and political leaders have set up unfair concentrations of wealth, political processes that privilege a few, and prosperity that relies on extraction of our natural resources. This has resulted in the widening racial wealth gap, the housing crisis, and the climate crisis. 

Communities of color are rarely represented at the decision-making table, and when they are, they are all-too-often tokenized. This ultimately hinders communities’ capacity to determine their own futures and serves to protect the inequitable status quo.


Laying the Foundation for a Just Future

Our work is future-focused. The policies we propose and the ideas we advance are the building blocks of transformative changes in our economy, and will ultimately lead us to a more inclusive overall economic system.

We are guided by the principles of a just economy that is rooted in racial equity, and is cooperative, sustainable, participatory, fair, and healthy. We are both working to correct past injustices, while also proactively building a better future. 

This work requires a long-haul mindset with a grounded vision. Our goal is to build the connective tissue between near-term material benefits in communities of color and long-term systemic changes in our overall condition as a society.


Reimagining Systems for Radical Change

We seek to change those practices ingrained in the current system that reinforce the inequities of our economy, and reimagine our economic system to radically meet the needs of communities of color.

Our strategies include:

Coalition development and management: We help build power, solidarity, and unity in communities of color by leading and participating in coalitions at the local and state level to inform and advance equitable solutions with diverse partners.

Policy development and legislative advocacy: We research, recommend, and create intersectional policies that have large-scale impacts, equitably direct resources and investments to communities, and eliminate root causes of inequity. We balance local, state, and national priorities, and build in feedback loops to our policy development process to ensure we are accountable to communities. Read more about our Annual Policy Agenda here.

Thought leadership: We are consistently re-examining preconceptions and pushing the boundaries of our imagination to bring forward new solutions. We produce original research and engage in thought-provoking conversations with diverse stakeholders to advance a new vision for our future. 

By engaging in coalition development and management, policy development and acting as a thought leader, The Greenlining Institute’s Systems Change team is:

  • Building power in low-income communities of color:
    Our communities will see greater solidarity, increased access, more resources, and transformed decision making processes.
  • Changing the narrative:
    We are creating a new narrative that centers equity and pushes decision makers and partners to envision a just future. 
  • Developing new systems and institutions:
    We pilot and build new systems that change the status quo across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. These institutions will advance equity in their practice by being explicitly anti-racist, centering communities, and reimagining traditional approaches.
  • Shifting norms:
    We envision different norms of engaging with policy, including community leadership, sharing and de-siloing of resources, and adopting equity standards across the board.