Giving Compass' Take:

• Equitable Growth Policy Director Amanda Fischer talks with Mehrsa Baradaran, professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, about the persistence of the racial wealth gap. 

•  How can donors help fight for more equitable fiscal policy? 

• Here are one foundation's lessons in addressing the racial wealth gap. 

“Equitable Growth in Conversation” is a recurring series where we talk with economists and other academics to help us better understand whether and how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability.

In this installment, Equitable Growth Policy Director Amanda Fischer talks with Mehrsa Baradaran, professor at University of California, Irvine School of Law and a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Baradaran is a leading scholar on financial services law and has developed a number of policies to address U.S. economic inequality and the racial wealth gap. Her most recent book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, explores the history behind the racial wealth gap and the reasons why it has persisted for more than 150 years. Baradaran focuses on the role of Black banks as a means by which to understand how Black communities build wealth in a segregated economy.

In an in-depth conversation about Baradaran’s research and its implications for public policymaking, she and Fischer discuss:

  • Misunderstandings about the nature of financial inclusion
  • Why crises help the wealthy and harm everyone else
  • Small businesses and the coronavirus recession
  • The myth of personal failures as a driver of poverty
  • Why big businesses are held to different standards of responsibility
  • The political decisions behind Federal Reserve monetary policymaking
  • Fiscal policies to help the economic recovery be more equitable

Read the full interview about the racial wealth gap by Amanda Fischer at Equitable Growth.