Week 6: Equity is the Superior Growth Model

Read the Chapter 3 ExcerptLast night’s election doesn’t change the reality of America’s future. Without a focus on equity, the future is bleak — no matter who’s in office.

Even as we navigate a difficult political environment, we must remember that equity is crucial to our nation’s fortunes in the decades ahead.

To compete in the 21st century economy, we must create an America where all people are enlisted and empowered to push our economy forward.

Just as our physical infrastructure is crumbling, so, too, is our community infrastructure — the people and places that make America. We need investments in health and housing and education that strengthen all communities, especially the ones that have been left behind for decades.

Simply, equity is the superior growth model.

For the final week of the Race and America’s Future Virtual Book Club, we look at how to ensure growth is equitably felt in all communities. Today’s starter questions.

People of color will be the American majority by 2050. What would a truly equitable America look like in 2050?

How do we make that America a reality?

Thank you to the more than 5,000 people who have visited the book club over the past six weeks — and the hundreds who have shared their thoughtful perspectives on race and America’s future.

The hunger for this type of conversation was clear. If you want to help us figure out what’s next for this effort, please comment (with a valid email address) down below.

Thank you for participating,
Angela Glover Blackwell

10 Responses to “Week 6: Equity is the Superior Growth Model”

  1. avatar

    Nice piece from the Grio today on the election. http://www.thegrio.com/politics/midterms-not-abou…. They cite a CBS exit poll where 62 percent of voters named the economy as the most important issue, and 88 percent said the economy is in bad shape. No wonder so much of yesterday was a "protest vote," or people voting their anxiety. People are anxious for a reason. This economy will only get better if we continue the kind of investments in people that lift all boats, not just a few. The emerging people of color majority may get this better than most — how else to explain the Democratic sweeps in Colorado and California. Equitable growth is the only way out of this. The new GOP majority in the house will argue for trickle down economics and more tax cuts for the rich, yet nothing could be further from what is needed right now to get the economy back on the right track.

  2. avatar

    I want to clarify the statement made that "People of color will be the American majority by 2050." Right know Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U.S. (48.4M or 15.8% of the U.S. population) and one that is growing at a larger pace than the African-American community. Based on this it would be Hispanics and not African-Americans the ones expected to be the largest one by 2050.

  3. avatar

    Jeff's point that people need to sit down in their communities and workplaces and take the time to hear each other won't work until workplaces and communities become places of integration. And that integration won't happen until there is culture change in our society to believe that "equity is the superior growth model." People who care need continue to show evidence of this, promote it, create awareness.

    • avatar

      I agree with your last sentence, Rebecca. But I would say that there won't be integration and "culture change in our society to believe that 'equity is the superior growth model" until people sit down in racially mixed groups, intra-community or inter-community, to establish personal communication and relationships with each other. I think relationships are the secret ingredient, the WD-40, that will help enable the changes that lead to the Beloved Society and… equity.

  4. avatar

    Politics has proven itself to be irrelevant to any discussion requiring honesty and good faith becuase the proponents of the "Big Lie" have discovered that all they neeed to do to win elections is to lie to people's fears. I can't change that. I can't change institutions. I can't change the world. I can control my actions an reactions. Participating in this process has been good because without it , I wouldn't have given any of these issues this much thought. But, now it's time to act on those thoughts. Anyone who cares about equity needs to take the next step to move out of their comfort zones and into their communities and look for ways to onnect with like minded people. Not people who agree with everything you say, but people who are willing to be honest and fearless nad take a chance on making things better for everyone. It always comes back to individuals. “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” – Robert Kennedy

  5. avatar

    Education must play a big role. I am living in Atlanta and I am distraught how things are ran down here. I'm from the midwest and it makes me think, is this how things operate under black leadership? They party 7 days a week while there school system is failing. Twelve schools were caught cheating on the standard test. This was elementary schools. The funding for the schools is non-existence. Schools have to choose between music and art. Recess is maybe 20 minutes. We can't allow that with the obesity rate so high. All people of color have to be educated. A high school diploma is just not enough. The economy will eventually recover and all those who did not take advantage of a good education will be left behind. We also have to be inform and active in the decision making of the direction we want this country to go. Many died for our exercise to vote and many people of color don't utilize it. We also got to get back to knowing our neighbors and caring about our neighborhoods. What goes on in the community touches everyone's lives.

  6. avatar

    It is refreshing to see people ready to have a positive conversation about how we build a truly inclusive society in which all can participate and prosper. Obviously, this will require investment and spending, but the payback will be huge. Education for all, improved health and well being for all, building a workforce that can become a vast and stable middle class: these are not pleadings from special interest groups for fairness and justice; these are imperatives for the nation. Yes, moving in this direction is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do and the just thing to do. But for a vital, sustainable, productive nation that is prepared for t he 21st century, it is the ONLY sensible goal. Equity: the superior growth model for all.

  7. avatar

    In response to Jose, it is true that it is Latinos that are driving the bulk of the demographic change. As we note in the book, demographers project that between now and 2050, the share of African Americans will stay basically the same, the Asian Pacific share will increase slightly over time, and the Latino share will about double from the current level (there's some dispute about what will happen to people who identify as mixed race but that's for another post).

    Most of the Latino growth will not be from continued immigration — which is projected to slow despite current popular fears — but from births in the U.S. Latinos already are a larger share of the population than African Americans — but in 2050, whites will still the largest single group.

    Enough data clarification — well, almost enough. It is important to realize that the Latino population will continue to be both younger and more foreign-born than blacks and whites — and thus voting power will be lower. The quick implication is that a Latino agenda — which is really just an equity and opportunity agenda — needs to be forged in coalition with others.

    So one reason we say "people of color" will be the demographic majority is just precision — but it's also because we mean to stress coalition-building.

    And it's broader than the groups that are now termed "minority" and that's the logic behind "equity is the superior growth model." We really do think *all* Americans need to come together, realize that our fates are interconnected, and make the investments necessary to move ahead. This can seem like wishful thinking in the age of the Tea Party — when it seems like an older sector of the population wants to lift the drawbridges just as a new generation is arriving (think of that sign, "keep your government hands off my Medicare") and when the anti-immigrant hysteria is so pronounced.

    But we do need hope. And ours is that we will learn to embrace the change and learn to embrace each other — and begin to realize that that is crucial to our economic health and our American future.

  8. avatar

    Being Black or Latino or Red or White or anything in between isn't the issue, all of us are, or should be, equal. Equity itself, much like the "chain's weakest link", is only found in consideration of all minorities. Disabled folks like myself feel the pain of inequality too! Consider this. People who get SS benefits have gone a year now w/o COLA. Now, we're told no more again next year. Congress votes increases for themselves but forgets about us as they say there's been no cost of living increase. Really? Think outside the box called COLOR and maybe you will see more of us in the same boat!

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