2021 Equity Challenge Day 10: The Racial Wealth Gap

Wealth is where past injustices breed present sufferings.

Mehrsa Baradaran

Law professor and scholar on the racial wealth gap

The racial wealth gap is the disparity in median wealth between different racial groups in the United States. In a 2018 study, the Federal Reserve found, “The median Black household has less than 11 percent the wealth of the median white household (about $15,000 versus $140,000).” Evidence shows that this gap has been growing for over 60 years. How can we make sense of such vast inequity, and how can we create an equitable system for all Americans? The answers are informed by a nuanced understanding of historical decisions, housing policies and access to opportunity.



Read this article from The Brookings Institution, which examines the Black-white wealth gap. (6 minutes)

Read this article on the “Racial Wealth Gap in the United States” (Section: “How to Close the Racial Wealth Gap”) to learn about policy proposals that might help close the racial wealth gap by increasing economic mobility. (5 minutes)


Watch this documentary “Explained” on Netflix that explores the racial wealth gap. (16 minutes)

Watch “The Financial Well-Being of Detroit Residents”: a conversation between United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions. (90 minutes)


Take a look at this infographic, which compares assets by racial group. (4 minutes)


Contact your elected representatives and urge them to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit—an important tool in helping to close the racial wealth gap.

Reflect And Share:

  1. Is there something from today’s challenge that stood out to you? Why or why not?
  2. How have you benefited from or been marginalized by a financial and economic system that is plagued by inequity?
  3. How can broadening our understanding of the racial wealth gap help us center equity in our communities?


Start the conversation. Send the tweet. Share your story. Make the Facebook post. Sharing what you learn and experience with your family, friends, and co-workers is the first step toward allyship.

Join thousands in conversation by using hastag #EquityChallenge or #TakeTheEC21