Race: From a challenging past to a better future


The ongoing economic bias against African Americans saps the economy. Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk spoke with Dr. Walter Greason, associate professor and chair of Educational Leadership at Monmouth University and a prominent historian, educator and urbanist about the persistent barriers limiting black Americans’ access to mortgages, insurance, credit…and the Payroll Protection Plan, little of which reached Black-owned businesses, meaning that black small business owners suffered even larger losses than white small business owners. Discrepancies in education are not relegated to history, and basic financial literacy programs are inadequate.

What can organizations do? Swonk and Greason discussed several actions. Organizations can help break the cycle of debt and poverty through involvement in financial education, showing how wealth functions to increase chances to participate fully in the economy. They can enter into sustained partnerships with capital endowments for incentives to take risks, as well as to provide safety nets to encourage resilience. And they can come alongside others already working on solutions.

Listen to the full conversation or the individual segments to learn more about strengthening the economy through awareness and action.



Chapter 1: Housing and closing the wealth gap
Chapter 2: Access to credit, capital and entrepreneurial support
Chapter 3: Toward equal education and a more equal future


From lockdown to slowdown, COVID 19 intensified deep inequities in the economy. To move ahead, smart companies are embracing a diverse and inclusive labor force that mirrors their customers, communities and employees. Equality and diversity are not just good policy but also good business.

Too often, these issues are viewed through a divisive political lens. But the economics of the issue are both clear and compelling — the more inclusive the economy, the faster it grows. It isn’t a zero-sum game. Building an economy that works for each of us means an economy that provides more for all of us.

Where to start? From housing to employment to healthcare and across a variety of other interconnected dimensions, listen in as our chief economist Diane Swonk and her guests explore how your company can drive equality and growth in our Economics of Diversity podcast series.






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