Media Contact: Mike Leyba, Communications Director, United for a Fair Economy [email protected] 562-266-4357
On Monday, January 16th, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, United for a Fair Economy is releasing the fourteenth annual State of the Dream report, titled “State of the Dream 2017: Mourning in America.” This report features reflections from leaders and advocates that are fighting inequalities everyday, and contains a short, accessible snapshot of where we are as nation on the topics of wages, wealth, health, housing, immigration, and LGBT inclusion.Read more
Lead, racism and poverty poisoned the Flint water supply. Add in a tablespoon of media silence and a gallon of government denial, and you’ve got a two year crisis that Michigan Governor Snyder has called, “…his Katrina” – alluding to the Bush administration’s disaster of hurricane management.
An emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder triggered the crisis in 2014. Attempting to fund corporate hand-outs through cuts to Flint, Snyder’s emergency manager switched Flint from Detroit’s water supply to the polluted Flint River.
After the switch, the story, and the water, got darker. Since January 2015, state workers in Flint have been receiving bottled water instead of being obligated to drink contaminated water. Despite government knowledge, hundreds of citizen complaints were ignored, email pleas from health officials passed over, and an outbreak of rashes overlooked.Read more
New movements call for new solutions. And this year, we’re taking a new approach to our annual State of the Dream report.Read more
There is a growing clamor about our immigration “problem.” But what are the facts about immigration? What is pushing and pulling workers and families to leave their homeland and emigrate to the U.S.? Who benefits from rules that allow in some workers and criminalize others? What do foreign-born and domestic workers have in common? How can we evaluate proposed immigration “reforms”? This latest addition to UFE’s lineup of popular economics education workshops provides information, analysis, and strategies for action to close the political and social divides that pit workers and communities against each other.
"Economic justice is not - and has never been - sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won't stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won't prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, "the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice."Read more
We at United for a Fair Economy would like to send our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in South Carolina. We are saddened not only by this act of terrorism and hate, but by the system that enables such violence to take place. This is not an isolated act, but a continuation of a long history of violence carried against black people.
The same system that has tragically ended so many black lives is the system that produces economic inequality. In a funeral service following the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. said, "[the victims] say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life and the philosophy which produced the murders." Today, for every dollar of wealth held by white families, the average black family holds only six cents. The one-percent owns 40% of the wealth in this country the poorest 90% shares only 23% of the wealth. While so many families are struggling for their very survival the one-percent are making record profits. These systems, of state-sponsored violence and economic inequality, are one in the same. We cannot address one without the other.
We believe strongly in the power of social movements fighting against racism, inequality and oppression. The organizers and activists leading the #blacklivesmatter movement and service and fast food workers fighting for $15 dollars and the right to join a union, black people and their allies, both non-black people of color and white people, are taking action against our country's long history of violence and exploitation. May there be justice for families in Charleston who have lost their loved ones and may those of us fighting for justice strengthen our resolve and take bold action in the struggle against racism and oppression.
For the past few weeks, the nation’s attention has focused on an unlikely epicenter of race relations, a Quik-Trip convenience store about fifteen miles north of St. Louis. It was there that 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was gunned down by a white police officer, and it is there that a groundswell of sympathy and frustration has prompted the community, and nation, to act. The town of Ferguson was rocked by this tragic event, and has responded in an incredible way – by organizing. In addition to memorials, people are setting up voter registration tables, and this moment is on its way to becoming a movement with racial inequity at the heart of the conversation.
We believe that, in the words of Frederick Douglas, “power concedes nothing without a demand.” We at United for a Fair Economy have a very simple demand: let’s build an economy that works for Ferguson, and for the south side of Chicago, and for everywhere in between. Let’s build a system that provides the same level of economic stability for communities of color as exists in middle class suburbs or affluent communities. Just as racial profiling is at the heart of this tragic event, the racial wealth divide should be a part of this conversation, and that is something that we’ve been working to bring into public consciousness for over a decade.
We understand that systemic racism will always exist as long as our economy doesn’t match our ideals. That’s why we were founded twenty years ago with a simple goal: to work towards a fair economy. We live up to this ambitious mission, and our name says it all.
We are united to build an economy that provides equal opportunity and equal justice for people who have been marginalized in our society based on race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or social class.
We are united to build an economy that creates jobs with dignity, that provide living wages, and where workers have the democratic right to organize and share the wealth produced by their labor.
We are united to create a robust public sector that works for the common good, funded through progressive taxes, and accountable to the people, and together, we will build this economy in a way that is sustainable and equitable for future citizens of our planet.
We remain vigilant, and our hearts are with those building a movement in Ferguson, in Queens, NY, and every other community that has been rocked by violence.
UFE's eleventh annual MLK Day report–Healthcare for Whom?–explores the racial economic implications of one of the most important human rights issues and public policy debates of the day: healthcare. The report looks at both disparate health outcomes–driven largely by racial segregation and concentrated poverty–and the current state-by-state fights over implementing the Affordable Care Act.
The report also includes the latest data on racial disparities in education, employment, income, poverty and wealth that indicate the dream of racial equity, as so clearly articulated by Dr. King, remains unfinished.
For the first time, this MLK Day report contains an "organizers toolbox" with a series of interactive workshops organizers can use at local worker centers, union halls, church groups, and community groups to examine the causes and consequences of the racial wealth divide and move people to action.
To read past State of the Dream reports–A Long Way from Home, The Emerging Majority, Austerity for Whom?, Drained and others–click here.
UFE's tenth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day report, State of the Dream 2013: A Long Way From Home, outlines the state of the racial wealth divide in the U.S. and puts forward creative solutions for addressing persistent racial inequities.
Black and Latino families continue to have far less wealth than White families and have emerged from the Great Recession more indebted and less able than White families to face the economic challenges before them.
Housing, an integral piece of the increasingly elusive American Dream, has much to do with the hemmorhaging of wealth in communities of color. This report examines the link between housing and asset-building policies, the impacts of those policies on communities of color, and urges a targeted, goal-oriented policy approach that is guided by our shared values and principles.
Fifty years ago this year, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. shared a vision for a future of equality for all people, regardless of race, in his "I Have a Dream" speech. He spent the final years of his life working with thousands of others to challenge economic inequality and racial injustice. Although their efforts made historic civil rights victories possible, much work remains to close the racial divide. We are, indeed, a long way from home.
Read the report today. Share it with your community. Start a conversation. Speak out and work together to make a new economy possible.