The report provides an outline of the considerations and implications for racial equity, homeownership, and wealth building presented by the current pandemic, which is magnifying racial and ethnic disparities within the US health, housing systems and labor market. We look at past economic cycles, including those that encompassed the Great Recession in 2007 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for insights on how these events exacerbate disparities in risks and recovery for people of color. We show evidence suggesting that structural barriers contribute to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in areas such as homeownership and unemployment. In addition, economic downturns induced by recessions or natural disasters can enlarge these gaps. This is the first in a series of work that will elevate the role of racial equity when examining economic cycles; promote equity-conscious federal, state, and city policies; bring forth relevant data and analysis; and create a useful set of tools to accelerate equitable and inclusive recovery.