March 1, 2020
As wages have stagnated for the majority of workers in the U.S. and inequality has skyrocketed, racial inequity has grown. Since the late 1970s, the racial wealth gap has reached critical levels. In Biloxi, Mississippi, the inequities are deep, leaving many Black and Latinx households facing racial and geographic barriers to economic opportunity. Yet, communities of color have been driving the city's population growth and spurring change and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This diversity can be a tremendous economic asset for the city if people of color are fully included as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Knowing where the city stands in terms of equity—just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential—is the first This research brief draws from data in the National Equity Atlas—an online resource for data to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth in America's cities, regions, states, and nationwide.The USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) provides forward-looking, actionable research to support community-based organizations, funders, and other stakeholders working towards social, racial, economic and environmental justice. www.dornsife.usc.edu/pere James Crowder Jr. and Justin Scoggins March 2020 2 step in planning for a brighter future for all Biloxians. To that end, the East Biloxi Community Collaborative (EBCC) partnered with the National Equity Atlas, a partnership between PolicyLink and the University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), to better understand the landscape for inclusive growth in the city, particularly given the new Opportunity Zone program which has the potential to bring a significant amount of private investment into the city. This brief describes Opportunity Zones and how they can be leveraged to promote equitable development in East Biloxi.