Rising income inequality receives a great deal of attention, but wealth inequality is equally important for long-term economic security and mobility and cannot be addressed solely through increases in income. Wealth or assets serve as the foundation of economic security by providing the ability to weather economic shocks, to step off the day-to-day treadmill of making ends meet, and to help the next generation be better off.
People of color, women, and people with low incomes experience the greatest wealth inequities. Focused attention and coordinated action to reform systems that have created and perpetuate inequities can prevent further harm and promote wealth creation and economic security for all people in the region.
Asset Funders Network met with the West Coast Poverty Center, and fellow philanthropic, public, nonprofit, academic, and other community colleagues to learn, share, and discuss the following:
- What is different about wealth or assets compared to income, and why does that matter for advancing economic security?
- What are the drivers and impacts of wealth inequity across systems such as education, housing, employment, and justice?
- How do differences in the resources and policy environments within the Puget Sound region shape individuals’ and communities’ opportunities for upward mobility?
- What potential strategies prevent further harm, promote mobility, build individual and community wealth and increase communities’ power?
- What are points of connection across systems and hot spots within the region for addressing wealth inequities?
Immediately following the forum, we held a funders-only lunch where we discussed strategies for addressing wealth inequity, shared goals, and potential opportunities for collaboration. To help us explore the issues and potential strategies we welcomed Anne Price, President, Insight Center for Community and Economic Development, Nisha Patel, Executive Director, US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty and Jennifer Romich, Director, West Coast Poverty Center, UW.