Closing the Racial Wealth Divide

In 1900, the great African American scholar W.E.B. DuBois predicted that "the problem of the twentieth century" would be "the problem of the color line." That is, the unequal relationship between the lighter and darker races of humankind. Today, the economic divide between white people and people of color remains disastrously wide. This "economic apartheid" is not natural nor unchangeable. Instead, it is the outcome of policies—largely governmental—that confer disproportionate advantages to white people and systematically block the development of assets for people of color.

The "Closing the Racial Wealth Divide" workshop includes participatory activities that:

  • Engage participants in dialogue about their own economic lives
  • Illustrate income trends by race
  • Illustrate wealth trends by race
  • Examine a "structural" analysis of wealth inequality
  • Review policies that shaped the accumulation of assets historically
  • Identify strategies and actions to close the wealth gap


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Download the Racial Wealth Divide workshop. Please email Steve Schnapp at [email protected] to request PDF files of these workshop materials. We appreciate your patience as we repair our workshop download links. Materials in the file include:

  • Trainer's Guide (72 pages): Leads you step-by-step through the workshop activities. Includes talking points, background information, and lists of additional resources.
  • Set of 20 charts.
  • Timeline illustration: This chart is filled with significant events, policies, laws, and trends that blocked or facilitated the accumulation of assets in the U.S., by race.

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