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The Next Reconstruction: Examining the Call for a National Reparations Program

March 30, 2023

In this brief, we examine the evolution of reparations proposals in the United States, connect a national reparations program to the United Nations' international human rights standards around reparations, and discuss the potential of a national reparations program to close long-standing racial gaps in wealth, housing, education, criminal justice, and other areas. We focus in part on the reparations commission proposed by H.R. 40, the most comprehensive reparations legislation in US history. We also make recommendations for strengthening the research and policy-development infrastructure for reparations.We argue that in addition to compensation for past harms, conceptualizations of reparations should involve looking at present practices, policies, and barriers to economic security and wealth building for Black Americans. We can account for historical injustices and prioritize how they have contributed to and exacerbated present inequalities while considering how current policies continue to exacerbate and reproduce those inequalities.In addition to exploring early reparations efforts in the United States, we review selected policy proposals that have involved efforts to make progress on reparations for Black Americans, analyze the current reparations policy landscape, and recommend ways researchers can identify approaches to make reparations effective at eliminating key racial gaps for Black Americans. This research can inform policy discussions and analyses of reparations, especially as governments continue to explore them.

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity

May 12, 2022

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity is a report by Race Forward and PolicyLink  that describes the work that commenced in partnership with federal agency offices, considers observations and lessons learned along the way, and discusses efforts that must continue at the federal level to fully realize the intentions of the executive order and move this country toward a more racially just future.Race Forward and PolicyLink co-led a Racial Equity Governing Pilot Project with federal agencies in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022. This report discusses critical elements of these partnership pilots and lessons to inform and support the longer term aspirations of the federal government to become actively antiracist. 

State of Digital Equity: Lessons from survey data and focus groups

May 12, 2022

In late 2020, EveryoneOn undertook a national survey to understand the digital divide during the pandemic. Even at a time of such uncertainty, it was important to look at broadband adoption and digital equity in a deeper way, since investments in digital inclusion were and would continue to be necessary as COVID widened the digital gap, leaving students, seniors and families offline. In the absence of recent research, EveryoneOn, in partnership with the Ballmer Group and Microsoft surveyed income insecure households (less than $50,000 a year) as well as conducted focus groups with individuals and digital inclusion practitioners. Our collective goal was to understand the persistent barriers to adoption and use the findings to inform policies and initiatives that foster digital equity. At the Ballmer Group, addressing barriers to economic mobility for children and families is a priority. When children do not have access to the tools necessary to participate and succeed in school, that is a barrier to economic mobility and resiliency. This is why it is important to understand what is keeping K-12 households unconnected or under connected. We learned in the first report that families cannot afford anything over $100 for a computer, reducing their education and economic opportunities.For Microsoft, the pursuit of racial equity entails addressing digital inequities that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority communities. Lack of access to high-speed and affordable internet service, robust devices and digital skilling opportunities have compounding effects on households, communities and our society. The Microsoft Airband Initiative intends to support cross-sector efforts to address barriers to digital equity.The findings in this third and final report reveal that equity must be at the center of digital inclusion efforts. We must invite diverse leaders, advocates and community anchor organizations to the table not only to provide a clear picture of digital inclusion, but to give them decision-making power about where and how funds should be invested. The recent passage of the Infrastructure and Investments Jobs Act and launch of the Affordable Connectivity Program provide a historic opportunity to create a more equitable and inclusive approach to digital equity. Rulemakings will influence what state and local funding efforts will look like, which has been instrumental for driving broadband adoption. On page 11 of this report, we make recommendations to help inform state and local leaders how to allocate federal funds they secure. The research makes it clear that policy change and investments must be made quickly if we are to prevent sustained educational, economic and social disparities caused by digital inequity. We are committed to ensuring digital equity for all. Will you join us?

How Post-Pandemic Tax Cuts Can Affect Equity: An Examination of How State Tax Changes Affected Different Income Groups and Representative Households in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio

February 9, 2022

State policymakers across the country are considering tax cuts in 2022. While there are many reasons and ways to cut taxes, state policymakers should keep in mind that the pandemic's negative effects were unequal and that future state revenue growth is uncertain. This report, using the Tax Policy Center state tax model, analyzes 2021 tax cuts passed in Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, and Ohio, showing how each state's tax cut affected different income groups and representative households from different racial and ethnic groups. In general, states that expanded refundable tax credits provided larger benefits to representative Black and Latino households.

For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity

October 27, 2021

The nation's first comprehensive racial equity blueprint for federal agencies, For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity provides resources, tools, and a plan for federal agency leaders to implement President Biden's historic executive order on advancing racial equity. Geared toward staff working within federal agencies, For Love of Country: A Path for the Federal Government to Advance Racial Equity also includes tools that are applicable for equity advocates across the nation working inside and outside of government, including:Several key roles the federal government can use to shape racial equityThe transformative potential equity presents for key socioeconomic outcomesGuiding principles that can serve as a common foundation for the work across the federal governmentA starter tool for conducting and refining an initial equity assessmentA tool for agencies to develop a strategic vision and action plan to advance equity, and guidance on how to launch this journey

For the Community, By the Community: The We Count LA Impact Story

February 10, 2021

Participation in the census is critical to the well-being of future generations of Los Angeles County. Census data plays an integral role in influencing the allocation of millions of dollars in federal funding for vital services and programs for our communities — from schools and hospitals to housing and roads. The census also determines the number of congressional members sent to the Capitol to represent our region, making an accurate count in Los Angeles County profoundly important.In a landmark effort, California Community Foundation (CCF) convened a powerful coalition of 115+ community-based organizations (CBOs) across the region to count historically under-counted populations, coordinated and united under one region-wide campaign: We Count LA. As trusted messengers with deep relationships and connections in their respective communities, these CBOs would be the faces and voices of the census, encouraging the diverse and vulnerable communities of Los Angeles County to participate in the 2020 Census. Amid the unforeseen global and national events of 2020, this task became seemingly impossible. Yet the unifying force of community resilience pushed the We Count LA campaign to become responsive, adaptive and innovative in trying to accomplish its goals.

No Going Back: Policies for an Equitable and Inclusive Los Angeles

September 9, 2020

Prior to the stay-at-home public health directive, civic boosters promoted Los Angeles as a metropolis that was confronting its problems and making progress. Local and state governments enjoyed budget surpluses, unprecedented investments were committed by Angelenos to respond to homelessness, and access to health care and high school graduation rates were at historically high levels, while unemployment and crime rates were at celebrated lows. But behind this glossy view of LA, a closer look at the data would have revealed a very different reality, where decades of structural and systemic racism resulted in significant social, economic, and racial inequality. Just a few months into a global pandemic, the cracks in the broken systems have become gaping holes, widening each day. Today, the calls for systemic change are loud, consequential and urgent.Early in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ten foundations wisely convened a diverse group of community, civic, non-profit, labor and business leaders to identify the systemic issues emerging from the crisis and to offer up a blueprint for building a more equitable and inclusive LA. Their past philanthropic work had made it clear that Los Angeles was becoming increasingly inequitable, and they feared the acceleration of disparate impact centered on income and race. The Committee for Greater LA was formed, and for the past five months, it has steered the analytical work completed by two of LA's leading institutions, UCLA and USC, supported by a team of consultants. The report that follows reflects our discourse, analysis and discovery.

Equity Counts: Tracking Opportunity Youth Outcomes

November 4, 2019

Opportunity youth (OY) are among the hardest-to-reach youth in our communities. Unlike youth who are connected to school systems, postsecondary institutions, or employers, opportunity youth—defined as "young people between the ages 16 to 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor force"—do not interact with these systems. There is no system or single point of contact through which opportunity youth are engaged, and through which progress and outcomes are measured. Rather, opportunity youth, if connected at all, float among service providers, in and out of school, and between jobs.In this report, we:discuss the importance of creating common measures for tracking opportunity youth outcomes;describe the greatest challenges associated with these efforts; andintroduce a set of measures—The OYF Common Measures—that utilize publicly available data to capture community-wide progress in connecting 16 to 24 year-olds to high school, postsecondary education, and the workforce.