Moving from Debate to Action

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With the first Democratic primary debates taking place last week, we are seeing a more representative field of candidates take on the bigger and bolder policy ideas that have increasingly shaped today’s progressive policy visions.

While further clarity and commitment in articulating them is needed, we are seeing the issues of entrenched racism and sexism increasingly highlighted as the core drivers they are in fostering and sustaining deep and yawning economic inequities in the U.S.

From identifying maternal mortality and gender pay equity as racial justice issues, to putting reparations at the front and center of our national conversation, elected representatives and candidates are connecting the dots among race, gender, and wealth on a national stage.

At the Insight Center, we are committed to continuing to inform and drive this conversation through our work to spark, amplify, and seed progressive thought leadership.

This month, we are pleased to highlight our latest contribution to the national dialogue around bold, progressive policy proposals that are uniquely positioned to target wealth inequities at their roots in institutionalized racism and sexism.

In her new issue brief for the Roosevelt Institute, Exploring Guaranteed Income Through a Racial and Gender Justice Lens, Jhumpa Bhattacharya assesses a range of guaranteed income models in the context of addressing deeply entrenched racial and gender injustices.

At the heart of this work Jhumpa identifies a crucial recognition that policy makers, in particular, must grapple with and act on.

“We have to be prepared to see, name, and face some uncomfortable truths about how racist and gendered our underlying beliefs are in regard to who is deserving and who is not and who (had) has access to opportunity and who (did) does not,” writes Jhumpa. “And, we have to be willing to do something about that learning through our policies moving forward by incorporating an intersectional race and gender equity lens in the design of our policies.”

This tension between recognition and intentional, focused action around issues of racial and gender justice is one that is no less evident in the budding Democratic primary process.

As their policy visions take shape and they move toward the general election, will candidates give clear voice to what is and has been the lived experience of so many, for so long? And will they lay out clear visions and pathways for moving us forward, with purpose?

We will all, no doubt, be watching. In the meantime, we invite you to read and share Jhumpa’s piece and, if you’ve missed them, dig into other recent Insight publications that are giving shape to these debates and our national conversation on race, gender, and wealth.

Written by

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development’s mission is to help people and communities become, and remain, economically secure.

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