The  Economic Recovery and Structural Racialization john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Et...
How does race work today? <ul><li>There are practices, cultural norms and institutional arrangements that help create & ma...
THINKING OF RACE AS  THE “MINERS CANARY” <ul><li>The “Miner’s Canary” metaphor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparities facing co...
Capital Market ‘Credit crunch’ Affected neighborhoods are being reduced to ‘ghost towns’ Reduced spending and retail fligh...
Opportunity is racialized <ul><li>Structural racialization: the joint operation of institutions produces racialized outcom...
Opportunity is spatialized  <ul><li>Structural racialization involves a series of exclusions, often anchored in (and perpe...
Opportunity is complex and cumulative <ul><li>Rebecca Blank builds on Myrdal’s concept of “cumulative causation.”  </li></...
Opportunity: stimulus planning  <ul><li>How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives...
Opportunity: foreclosure relief <ul><li>How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainabl...
Seeing the Connections <ul><li>Attempts to address singular issues in isolated ways will ultimately fail </li></ul><ul><li...
People are “differentially situated” <ul><li>Example: controlling for risk factors,  African Americans were 15-30% more  l...
Ex: Economic Stimulus Package <ul><li>The economic stimulus package fails to directly account  for race. </li></ul><ul><li...
Racially Sensitive Policies <ul><li>We must embrace a systems thinking perspective when forming policies. </li></ul><ul><l...
Racially Sensitive Policies (con’t) <ul><li>What do racially sensitive policies look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transpare...
Race-Sensitive Policy Analysis of the Stimulus <ul><li>How do we make the stimulus fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></...
Toward a Just Economic Recovery <ul><li>Focus on strategic interventions / turning points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Will thi...
Targeted Universalism <ul><li>This approach supports the needs of the particular while reminding us that we are all part o...
Targeted Universalism <ul><li>Targeted Universalism recognizes racial disparities and the importance of eradicating them, ...
Toward a Just Economic Recovery <ul><li>What are these billions of dollars actually fixing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we o...
Understanding our linked fates <ul><li>Racialized structures and policies have created the correlation of race and poverty...
Linked Fates… Transformative Change <ul><li>Our fates are linked, yet our fates have been socially constructed as disconne...
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The Economic Recovery and Structural Racialization

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The Economic Recovery and Structural Racialization

  1. 1. The Economic Recovery and Structural Racialization john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College of Law 60th Annual Conference of the Council on Foundations. Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  2. 2. How does race work today? <ul><li>There are practices, cultural norms and institutional arrangements that help create & maintain (disparate) racialized outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>We call this “structural racialization” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a very different way of looking at race </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The way race matters changes over time (progress/retreat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We must consider how we each stand differently with respect to our opportunities for work, education, parenting, retirement… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We must understand the work our institutions do, not what we wished they would do in order to make them more equitable and fair </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. THINKING OF RACE AS THE “MINERS CANARY” <ul><li>The “Miner’s Canary” metaphor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparities facing communities of color are indicators of larger impending societal challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ex: Race and predatory lending, which contributed to the subprime debacle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Threatening the entire US economy </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Capital Market ‘Credit crunch’ Affected neighborhoods are being reduced to ‘ghost towns’ Reduced spending and retail flight Families lose their homes, wealth and safety Banks, police and courts saddled with foreclosures SUBPRIME LENDING: We didn’t care about the canary...
  5. 5. Opportunity is racialized <ul><li>Structural racialization: the joint operation of institutions produces racialized outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>Structures unevenly distribute benefits, burdens, and racialized meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1960, African-American families in poverty were 3.8 times more likely to be concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods than poor whites. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2000, they were 7.3 times more likely. </li></ul><ul><li>This uneven distribution has negative consequences not just for those with the greatest need, but all of us. </li></ul>Lower Educational Outcomes Increased Flight of Affluent Families Neighborhood Segregation School Segregation & Concentrated Poverty
  6. 6. Opportunity is spatialized <ul><li>Structural racialization involves a series of exclusions, often anchored in (and perpetuating) spatial segregation. </li></ul><ul><li>Historically marginalized people of color and the very poor have been spatially isolated from economic, political, educational and technological power via reservations, Jim Crow, Appalachian mountains, ghettos, barrios, and the culture of incarceration. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Opportunity is complex and cumulative <ul><li>Rebecca Blank builds on Myrdal’s concept of “cumulative causation.” </li></ul><ul><li>In the U.S., while whites are poor in greater numbers, people of color are more likely to be in prolonged poverty and to suffer the cumulative effects (poor health, lack of labor market experience, inadequate education) </li></ul><ul><li>Single-issue policies do not adequately address the multiple oppressions of poverty </li></ul>
  8. 8. Opportunity: stimulus planning <ul><li>How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives for inclusion of people of color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grants and loans for small and minority-, women-, and community-disadvantaged businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect data by race and gender to understand impacts of economic recovery policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment in public transit (prioritize projects that connect people to jobs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Maya Wiley, Center for Social Inclusion </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Opportunity: foreclosure relief <ul><li>How do we make it fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable credit options for low-income families and credit-deprived neighborhoods (fair investment in all communities) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Living-wage jobs and “green” housing standards (economic and environmental sustainability) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disciplined, fair and flexible underwriting standards; a robust retooling of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and an overhaul of financial regulation (accountability) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Seeing the Connections <ul><li>Attempts to address singular issues in isolated ways will ultimately fail </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted interventions must recognize the interconnected nature of our structures </li></ul><ul><li>While many policy areas can appear distinct, we must think of them collectively. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Transportation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is this an urban policy issue? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An environmental issue? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A jobs/economic issue? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. People are “differentially situated” <ul><li>Example: controlling for risk factors, African Americans were 15-30% more likely than whites to get subprime loans for purchase and for refinance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely refinance targets: elderly, often widowed, African American women in urban areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Latinos, similar numbers for purchase, but not for refinance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Latino homebuyers were recent, first generation homebuyers who could not be automatically underwritten (multiple income earners, cash, local credit, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sources: Graciela Aponte (National Council of LaRaza) and Debbie Bocian (Center for Responsible Lending) presentations at The Economic Policy Institute panel “Race, Ethnicity and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” on June 12, 2008 in WDC; and “Baltimore Finds Subprime Crisis Snags Women” in The New York Times online, Jan. 15, 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Ex: Economic Stimulus Package <ul><li>The economic stimulus package fails to directly account for race. </li></ul><ul><li>Race is a key component of many major economic issues. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Subprime/Foreclosure crisis: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People of color are more than three times as likely as whites to have subprime mortgages. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Borrowers of color were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Besides considering race-sensitive design, </li></ul><ul><li>we must be concerned about the impacts. </li></ul>Rogers, Christy. “Subprime Loans, Foreclosure, and the Credit Crisis - A Primer.” Dec. 2008.
  13. 13. Racially Sensitive Policies <ul><li>We must embrace a systems thinking perspective when forming policies. </li></ul><ul><li>What do racially sensitive policies look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted : They recognize the nature of our interconnected structures / larger inequitable, institutional framework. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to situatedness : They account for the fact that people are situated differently in the economic and social landscape of society. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by outcomes : It may seem great if unemployment is cut in half, but if all the jobs go to white males, serious problems remain. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Racially Sensitive Policies (con’t) <ul><li>What do racially sensitive policies look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparent : - Transparency allows for gauging progress and making corrections if necessary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-faceted : Incentivize a systems approach. Reorient how we think about policy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include people of color in the process : Their input is vital. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve as a bridge to the next economy : These policies should be the stepping stones for the future. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Race-Sensitive Policy Analysis of the Stimulus <ul><li>How do we make the stimulus fair, sustainable, accountable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives for inclusion of people of color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grants and loans for small and minority-, women-, and community-disadvantaged businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect data by race and gender to understand impacts of economic recovery policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment in public transit (prioritize projects that connect people to jobs) </li></ul></ul>Wiley, Maya. “Economic Recovery for Everyone: Racial Equity and Prosperity,” Center for Social Inclusion, 12/2008.
  16. 16. Toward a Just Economic Recovery <ul><li>Focus on strategic interventions / turning points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Will this make the water turn into steam?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflect on the intersection of need and opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some communities and people have greater needs (i.e., communities suffering from high foreclosure rates) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seek collaborative opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allocate your money coherently – a little bit in a lot of places is not as effective as focused efforts that can later be replicated elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Embrace advocacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is our government, our money, and our opportunity! </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Targeted Universalism <ul><li>This approach supports the needs of the particular while reminding us that we are all part of the same social fabric. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Universal, yet captures how people are differently situated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusive, yet targets those who are most marginalized </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Every school as a performing school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does each school need to get there? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does each student, family, teacher, community need? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are their strengths and constraints? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Targeted Universalism <ul><li>Targeted Universalism recognizes racial disparities and the importance of eradicating them, while acknowledging their presence within a larger inequitable, institutional framework </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted universalism is a common framework through which to pursue justice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A model which recognizes our linked fate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A model where we all grow together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A model where we embrace collective solutions </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Toward a Just Economic Recovery <ul><li>What are these billions of dollars actually fixing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we only fixing the ‘status quo’? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we transformative yet? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are opportunity gaps shrinking? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mind the gap & fix the gap: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the existing disparities between communities of color both in terms of people and places while growing the economy for all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This requires: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>■ Baseline ■ Monitoring ■ Strategy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflect on what it means to spend money “fairly” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Understanding our linked fates <ul><li>Racialized structures and policies have created the correlation of race and poverty. People assume that only people of color are harmed. </li></ul><ul><li>In reality, these effects are far reaching and impact everyone – we share a linked fate </li></ul>
  21. 21. Linked Fates… Transformative Change <ul><li>Our fates are linked, yet our fates have been socially constructed as disconnected (especially through the categories of class, race, gender, etc.). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We need socially constructed “bridges” to transform our society. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceive of an individual as connected to—instead of isolated from—“thy neighbor.” </li></ul></ul>

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