Color of Wealth: The US Racial Wealth Divide
November 9, 2006
Meizhu Lui executive director, United for Fair Economy
Betsy Leondar-Wright communications director, UFE
Michelle Cromwell professor, social systems, Pine Manor
In the panel discussion, leading experts on the wealth divide explore the economic histories of Native Americans, Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, and European Americans, and tackle the relationship between race and finances in the United States.
For every dollar in assets possessed by the average white family in the United States, the average family of color has less than a dime. This event asks why the distribution of wealth in our nation is so uneven; whether public policy, even when well intentioned, reinforces existing inequalities; and whether or not race and ethnicity continue to play a pivotal role in defining the haves and have-nots in our society.
Meizhu Lui is the Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy, a national non-profit organization that helps build social movements for greater equality. Her articles have appeared in the Wealth Inequality Reader, Inequality Matters, and in Yes!, Orion, and Social Policy magazines, as well as in Black Commentator. Meizhu Lui was a hospital food service worker and AFSCME activist for 20 years, and became the first Asian President of a local union in Massachusetts. Meizhu Lui serves on the Center for American Progress National Initiative to End Poverty. She is a Trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts and a long-time member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Her work in Boston has been honored by the YWCA, the Immigrant Workers' Resource Center, Mass Senior Action Council, the Boston Women's Fund, the Big Sisters Association, and Labor Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Betsy Leondar-Wright is the Communications Director at United for a Fair Economy, and co-author of Shifting Fortunes: The Perils of the Growing American Wealth Gap. She is also on the board of Class Action, a non-profit organization that raises consciousness about class and money. She has spoken about economic inequality on CNN, Air America and hundreds of local and syndicated radio shows. Her op-eds have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, Tallahassee Democrat, Daily Corinthian, Topeka Capital-Journal, and others. Before coming to UFE, Leondar-Wright directed two organizations, the Massachusetts Human Services Coalition and the Anti-Displacement Project.
Michelle Cromwell is an Assistant Professor at Pine Manor College and a Center Associate at PMC's Center for Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility. She holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University, Florida. Her areas of specialty include: Multiculturalism, Violence Prevention, Peace Making/Keeping, Social Capital, Coalition and Capacity Building, Race and Ethnic Relations, Conflict Transformation, and Culturally Sensitive Mediation. As a lecturer she teaches in both the Management and Social & Political Systems Departments. Cromwell also works as an independent consultant and lecturer and is the founder of Multicultural Perspectives, a company that works with human systems to enable them to see the world through different lenses.http://forum-network.org/lecture/color- ... lth-divide