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November 1, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

New report highlights racial wealth gap in D.C.

RACE/EQUALITY
–  A new report illustrates that discrimination and systemic racism contribute to the wealth gap in Washington, D.C., and that white households have a net worth 81 times greater than black ones. (City Paper, 11/1)

The analysis looks at disparities in financial power between the D.C. metropolitan area’s black and white residents, including before the Great Recession, which devastated communities of color. Researchers from the Urban Institute, Duke University, The New School, and the Insight Center for Economic Development conducted a survey in this region and four others in 2014, collecting information on household assets, liabilities, savings, and investments, and on homeownership, foreclosures, use of payday lenders, and demographics. Six hundred surveys were registered for the D.C. area.

The researchers found that—as of a couple of years ago—white households in the region had a median net worth of $284,000 compared with $3,500 among black households, or 81 times more. (Net worth refers to assets minus debts.) Accounting for age also revealed stark differences. Among 31- to 51-year-olds, black households reported a median net worth of zero, versus $221,000 for their white peers. Meanwhile, among 51- to 65-year-olds, black households showed $4,000 in median net worth, versus $516,000 for white households—or 120 times more. In other words, wealth disparities associated with race rose with age.

Related: It’s stories like this that make working toward building a more racially equitable region so urgently important – and why WRAG launched the Putting Racism on the Table series this year. Get caught up on the learning series and check out the latest release, “Structural Racism Theater.”

– Uber and Lyft Are Failing Black Riders (Atlantic, 10/31)

HIV/AIDS | In a special guest post for the Daily, Caterina Gironda of Funders Concerned About AIDS discusses the Washington AIDS Partnership’s new PrEP for Women Initiative. The model program addresses the growing rate HIV infections among African American women in DC by increasing knowledge of and access to PrEP, a drug that when taken regularly can prevent HIV infection if exposed to the virus. (Daily, 11/1)

TRANSIT |  “Reality Check” is the name that Metro’s general manager has given his 2018 “unprecedented” budget plan. (dcist, 10/31)

COMMUNITY | When Mickey Came to Town is a new film produced by Prince Charitable Trusts and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University that will have its national broadcast premiere on Thursday, November 10 via Link TV. The film explores how, in the 1990’s, The Walt Disney Company unveiled plans for a new theme park in Haymarket, Virginia, near some of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War. But in the face of mounting opposition, Disney withdrew its plans a year later. Check it out!

HOMELESSNESS | Hagerstown, MD officials are looking into whether housing for those who are homeless is inspected at the same standards as conventional rental housing. (WTOP, 11/1)


I know how much Halloween candy to let my kids have – the question is how much candy should my husband and I have!? – Buffy

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