Join your peers for an exclusive funders-only opportunity to hear from renowned sociologist Thomas M. Shapiro, and discuss the ideas and findings in his new book Toxic Inequality: How America's Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future.
Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But inequality's impact differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth that of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have accumulated wealth at three times the rate of black families. In our increasingly diverse nation, Shapiro argues, wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--a dangerous combination he terms "toxic inequality."
In Toxic Inequality, Shapiro reveals how these forces combine to trap families in place. Following nearly two hundred families of different races and income levels over a period of twelve years, Shapiro's research vividly documents the recession's toll on parents and children, the ways families use assets to manage crises and create opportunities, and the real reasons some families build wealth while others struggle in poverty. The structure of our neighborhoods, workplaces, and tax code-much more than individual choices-push some forward and hold others back. A lack of assets, far more common in families of color, can often ruin parents' careful plans for themselves and their children.
Toxic inequality may seem inexorable, but it is not inevitable. America's growing wealth gap and its yawning racial divide have been forged by history and preserved by policy, and only bold, race-conscious reforms can move us toward a more just society.
Join us for an important discussion about Toxic Inequality and the important role philanthropy has to play in reversing this path. Bring your questions and insights for an illuminating and active discussion among peers.
*This program is only open to grantmakers.
Thomas Shapiro, director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP); Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy, The Heller School, Brandeis University.
Marissa Guananja, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
March 30, 2017, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Online Event - Detailed login information will follow your registration.