Harvard Chan School joins effort to close racial wealth gap

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is partnering with leading organizations from across the business, nonprofit, philanthropy, and academic sectors on a new initiative aimed at combatting the 90% racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

Called NinetyToZero, the initiative provides a roadmap for companies and organizations to “counteract centuries of discrimination, segregation, and financial exploitation,” according to an April 6, 2021, press release announcing the group’s launch.

An April 6 AP article noted that, according to recent Federal Reserve statistics, white families’ average net worth—including savings, investments, and home ownership—is $171,000. For Black families it’s only $17,600.

Partner organizations in NinetyToZero commit to hiring and promoting Black individuals and investing in Black businesses. Closing the racial wealth gap could increase the U.S. GDP by $1.5 trillion in the next 10 years, according to economists.

“The key to narrowing the racial health gap is to narrow the racial wealth gap,” said Michelle Williams, dean of Harvard Chan School, in the AP article. “The two go hand in hand, and we will all be the beneficiaries of a more equitable and just society.”

Read the NinetyToZero press release: Top Organizations Across US Launch NinetyTo Zero To Combat Racial Wealth Gap

Read the AP article: Businesses and philanthropy unite to fight racial wealth gap