Our January 2017 newsletter includes
- A webinar of the AFN brief: “The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course Brief” with authors Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, MPH & Anjum Hajat, PhD, MPH.
- A blog post on the popular Mandela MarketPlace Co-Op
- Two new briefs from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) including “A Strategy to Improve Financial Well-Being” and “Implementing Financial Coaching: Implications for Practitioners”
- A new brief, on Auto-IRAs, released from Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives
- A guide released from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau contains helpful information on student loan servicing
- A report, featuring author Heather McCulloch and guidance from AFN Steering Committee member Elena Chavez Quezada, “Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap – What it is, Why it Matters and What Can Be Done About It”
- and, of course, a letter from Joe Antolin, AFN Executive Director
FROM THE DIRECTOR
“We are challenged to work passionately and unrelentingly to get rid of racial injustice in all its dimensions. Racial injustice is … America’s shame.” Dr. Martin Luther King (1965)
Fifty years after Dr. King spoke of the need to remain awake during the great revolution to rid America of racial injustice we still have much work to do. While the contours of the challenges to rid our communities and the nation of racial injustice have evolved, the dimensions — particularly as related to education, health, and wealth — continue to require passionate and unrelenting Commitment to catalyze long-term change and opportunity. We know that there are serious changes planned by the new administration. Some changes may prove to be beneficial (just as when President Nixon signed SSI into law to enlarge the safety net for the disabled or President Reagan greatly expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit as part of a tax reform bill). Other changes will be harmful to low and moderate income households.
The continuing great revolution is about eliminating inequity through opportunity and prosperity. That is about more than public policy. Inequity — whether among White, Black, Latino, Asian or Native; whether gender based or based on religion — remains America’s shame in part because it betrays the aspiration of the American dream offering opportunity and prosperity for all.
I have two thoughts. First, the Trump Administration will make changes. If the final form of those changes is to expand opportunity and prosperity; then philanthropic, private and non profit sector voices will need to point unrelentingly to what works with public funding and regulatory protections often in combination with private efforts. For example, many voices from both parties are likely to continue reflecting that repealing all elements of the Affordable Care Act will be devastating to the health of many. Repeal or reform will not change the understanding of the social determinants of health. New holistic approaches that improve health beyond just access to doctors of necessity will continue to gain importance. Philanthropy can help lead this effort.
Second, if tax policy changes through refundable credits and increased deductions put more disposable income into low and moderate household balance sheets and some public money freed from restrictive regulatory requirements grows good jobs, the
environmental context for wealth building will evolve. That will require new and differently scaled strategies such as effective and accessible saving and wealth-building platforms, expanded financial coaching opportunities, and increased partnerships with the private sector to increase entrepreneurial efforts. AFN and philanthropy can and will lead this effort.
AFN knows where it’s most effective. We will continue to provide education on the wealth- building challenges faced by low and middle class workers and families living in America and elevate promising and proven approaches to influence investments. Our strength is from our members and our collective resolve. Join AFN as a member and commit to join us at our national 2017 Grantmaker Conference, May 2-4 in Indianapolis.
Be part of a dynamic collaborative effort where philanthropy leads the way to raise issues and promote ideas that increase opportunity and prosperity.
Joseph A. Antolín
Asset Funders Network