Black History Month serves as a reminder of the resilience, strength, and contributions of Black Americans throughout history. It’s also an opportunity to confront the challenges and injustices that persist, including the racial wealth gap. We at Crisis Assistance Ministry know that through collective will and action, our community can honor the legacy of Black history while working toward a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and prosper, regardless of race or background.
The impacts of wealth inequalities are quite evident every day at Crisis Assistance where we see people, through no fault of their own, struggling to pay rent, keep the lights on, and afford clothes for their children. In a community that is majority white, the overwhelming majority of people who seek help with basic needs here are Black and Hispanic. But the reality is that the nonprofit sector can only do so much to address the long-term struggles of the economically disenfranchised. Systemic policies have created and sustained the continued wealth gap, and it will require a systemic approach to reverse that impact.
More than a year into the pandemic that continues to devastate families and economies worldwide, it is painfully evident that the suffering is not equally distributed. The starkly different experiences of Black Americans compared to white Americans highlight the legacy of racism and systemic segregation in the United States.