Racial Equity

Communities of color face disparities in educational achievement, household income, access to affordable housing and health care, differential treatment by the justice system and many other barriers to opportunity. The racial wealth gap, which encompasses savings and financial assets, has more than quadrupled over the last two decades. These inequities have long-lasting effects on families. Children of color born into hardship quickly fall behind their white peers and are likelier to live in poverty as adults.

Despite significant progress in the area of civil rights, research shows that discrimination remains entrenched in American society. In urban areas, for instance, historically segregated neighborhoods have some of the highest rates of intergenerational poverty and are least likely to have access to good schools, transportation, job opportunities and social services. Institutional practices and public policies in areas such as housing, crime, immigration and welfare have also played a role in deepening racial inequities. To effectively address these problems, policymakers should focus on how race, ethnicity and poverty intersect.

This section of the Spotlight website takes a comprehensive approach to confronting these issues, gathering the latest research, news and opinion on racial equity and poverty from experts in the field, policymakers and the media.

To submit new reports or other resources to this section, please contact Adam Bradley at