One Million Black Women: Closing the Wealth Gap is a new program at Goldman Sachs designed to partner with Black women–led organizations and other partners to commit $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic support to address the disproportionate gender and racial biases that Black women have faced for generations, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Through the One Million Black Women Research Partnership, the Urban Institute invited research proposals on the racial earnings and wealth gaps and their disproportionate impact on Black women and families. Four applicants were selected from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to participate in this research partnership between May or June 2022 through December 2022 and receive up to $20,000 in funding. The goal of this learning community is to distill new insights and build synergy around actions and investments that policymakers, funders, and corporate leaders can make to close the racial earnings and wealth gaps for Black women.
Project Background: Understanding the Opportunity
Since summer 2020, increasing attention has been paid to systemic inequities and institutional racism and the role of private companies, philanthropic funders, and public entities in addressing long-standing policies and practices that have helped create and exacerbate these inequities. One area where the historical origins of inequity are particularly pronounced is in the racial disparities in earnings and wealth among Black Americans.
The racial earnings and wealth gaps for Black Americans relative to other racial groups in the United States are well-documented. For Black women, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated long-standing economic inequities because Black women are more likely to work in lower-paying jobs and experience higher levels of poverty. Black women remain disproportionally disadvantaged across a broad range of economic measures, including wealth, earnings, and health. This complex issue involving the interlocking systems of white supremacy and sexism in the United States reflects the ways in which Black women’s labor has been historically devalued in this country.
By building on existing research, developing new research products, and harnessing the power of engaged learning communities, Goldman Sachs and the Urban Institute can help build the evidence base, elevate HBCU scholars’ research, and catalyze new public and private support and investments to close racial and gendered earnings and wealth gaps.
Goals of the Goldman Sachs and Urban Institute One Million Black Women Research Partnership include the following:
- Creating a space for HBCU faculty members and scholars to develop new research products on the racial earnings and wealth gaps for Black women and make recommendations for new or emerging research, policies, and practices that can help decrease racial and gendered disparities in earnings and wealth
- Elevating the scholarship of HBCU faculty members and scholars across disciplines including sociology, psychology, economics, social work, public policy, business, and other fields of interest to improve the knowledge base on the racial and gendered earnings gaps for Black women with the goal of advancing racial equity and economic justice
- Convening a learning community of HBCU scholars, Urban Institute researchers, and other key stakeholders who are committed to using research to make the case for new and expanded efforts to close the racial earnings and wealth gaps for Black women
- Leveraging Goldman Sachs and Urban Institute networks to disseminate research products and lessons learned to audiences including financial institutions, economic and community development entities, academic institutions, research and policy organizations, and local, state, and federal government
Those selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs and Urban Institute One Million Black Women Research Partnership will benefit from the following:
- Grant funding to HBCU institutions of up to $20,000 provided by the Urban Institute for a six-month research and engagement period
- Urban Institute research and communications support to develop new research products including briefs, reports, literature reviews, and other products
- Virtual learning community sessions with other HBCU awardees, Goldman Sachs, the Urban Institute, and economic and community development experts
- Elevation of participants’ work through public-facing communications such as blog posts, newsletters, webinars, and a formal convening; final products and publications developed through this effort will be published on urban.org