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Bloomberg Launches Database To Help Track Racial Wealth Equity Gap

The platform aims to empower decision-makers, government officials and journalists, working to improve and chronicle economic opportunity.

The racial wealth gap is often regarded as a big, bad phantom truth that’s widely accepted, and seldom questioned. But when was the last time you looked at the numbers in real time?

Hopefully, with the help of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative and Prosperity Now, your answer to that question is today.

The organizations recently announced the launch of the Black Wealth Data Center (BWDC), which will host the new Racial Wealth Equity Database, which aims to empower decision-makers to track the chasm and identify ways to help eradicate it. Per a news release shared with ESSENCE, the BWDC is incubated by Prosperity Now, a leading nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. focused on advancing racial and ethnic economic justice.

“The enormous obstacles that so many Black Americans have faced not only in creating wealth, but in passing assets to their children and grandchildren as generations of white families have done,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City in January 2020.

The Black Wealth Data Center’s website allows users to access deep wealth data by topic (assets/debt, education, employment, homeownership, and business ownership), and compare wealth data by race (Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, Other or multiple races), sex, age, education attainment, and geographic area (state, county or zip code). The immersive platform is the first of its kind dedicated solely to tracking data specifically for the advancement of Black wealth.

“Leaders and organizations across the country have been challenged by the lack of accessible and high-quality data disaggregated by race – making it difficult to assess what’s working and not working in efforts to make America more equitable, what assets exist in Black communities, and what we need to do to effect change,” said Garnesha Ezediaro, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative in a news release. “With a commitment to continuously scan and integrate the best data into a comprehensive user-friendly source, the Black Wealth Data Center will be a resource for leaders who are working to ensure that data can be accessed more equitably, progress can be measured more precisely, and that change can come faster.”

Led by Natalie Evans Harris, the data center aims to provide change agents with the constant, real-time data they need to enact immediate action towards closing the gap.

“I am thrilled to lead the Black Wealth Data Center, help leverage data and technology to expedite the accumulation of Black wealth and establish partnerships with practitioners and policymakers to power the path to equity,” said  Harris, executive director of the Black Wealth Data Center.

Gary Cunningham, CEO & President of Prosperity Now added, “The BWDC underscores the importance of democratizing data, because the most effective solutions come from those most closely impacted by injustice. The Black Wealth Data Center is a significant advance for the field as it will help us unearth new ways to build wealth in Black families and ensure that we are using the most robust information and tools to create programs and policies that drive towards racial wealth equity.”