Without bold, visionary action to address race- and gender-based wealth inequities, the chasm between those who are economically secure and those who are not—mainly Black, brown, and Native American communities and women—will continue to grow. In the end, these issues threaten our nation’s ability to finally achieve our promise of freedom, dignity, and security for all.
In “Exploring Guaranteed Income Through a Racial and Gender Justice Lens,” Jhumpa Bhattacharya, vice president of programs and strategy at the Insight Center, connects two important debates: 1) The need to address the racial wealth gap that exists between people of color and white Americans and 2) a guaranteed income as one big idea that is capable of redefining these wealth divides. She explores three types of cash transfer programs—monthly installments, an annual lump sum, and “universal plus basic income”—that could combat racial and gender wealth inequities. Ultimately, Bhattacharya finds that only the third model, first popularized by former Roosevelt Fellow Dorian Warren, will allow communities of color to accumulate wealth.