PROJECTBlack Family Thriving Initiative

Multi Generation Family On Autumn Walk In Countryside Together
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  • Why Should We Focus on the Black Middle Class?
  • Black Family Thriving: A Pilot Study of Wealth Building among the Black Middle Class

  • The Black Family Thriving Initiative aims to amplify the intergenerational strengths of Black people and families and to reframe the narrative of being Black and middle class in America. We also aim to describe the distinct challenges Black families, specifically Black middle-class families, face in achieving the American dream for themselves and their children.

    Our goals include building understanding, informing policy, developing research, and changing the narrative about Black families. In the first phase, we’ll prioritize research, interventions, and policy changes to improve wealth and well-being for Black families. Future phases will focus on psychological well-being, physical health, and overall quality of life.

    Defining the Black middle class experience through wealth

    The Initiative is creating a new wealth inclusive index to better measure the middle-class experience for Black Americans, focusing on wealth, physical and mental health, employment, and quality of life. By emphasizing wealth, we are connecting the dots between research, advocacy, civil rights and human rights movements, policy actions, and economic solutions to make progress on upward economic mobility for Black Americans in the US.

    A primary outcome of the Initiative is to identify, describe, advance, and build evidence to support changes resulting in substantial gains in wealth and well-being for Black families. We aim to make our research, advising, collaborative building, and coordination work accessible to academics, policy researchers, advocates, policymakers, and journalists. 

    Drawing policy attention to the Black middle class

    While our current focus is on wealth, we plan to expand our analysis of the Black middle class to include other areas of research. We welcome collaboration with research institutions, academic scholars, community organizations, and others interested in this work. Over time, we aim to develop a repository of evidence on Black families, informed by research and real-life experiences, to uplift the Black middle class as a population deserving more policy attention.

    Research Areas Children and youth Economic mobility and inequality Families Race and equity Wealth and financial well-being
    Tags Beyond high school: education and training Community and economic development Economic well-being Evidence-based policy capacity Family and household data Income and wealth distribution Inequality and mobility Mass incarceration Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Racial wealth gap Wealth gap Wealth inequality
    Policy Centers Office of Race and Equity Research Income and Benefits Policy Center Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
    Research Methods Data collection Qualitative data analysis