The tool, launched Thursday by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, aims to provide better access to data on racial wealth disparities in the United States.
Using interactive maps and graphs, the Black Wealth Data Center, or BWDC, allows users to compare data by race, gender, education and location and explore topics such as employment, home ownership, assets and debt.
The Greenwood Initiative is a national program that aims to “accelerate the pace of wealth accumulation for black individuals and families and address systemic underinvestment in black communities across the United States,” the organization said in a statement.
Natalie Evans Harris, the center’s executive director, said the BWDC website allows users to sift through national-level data or drill down into specific zip codes, making it a powerful tool to help elected officials better understand their communities and constituencies. Fifty ways.
According to Evans Harris, access to data on race and ethnicity has long been difficult, in part because data sets are located in different places and collection standards vary across organizations. Working with multiple populations is important to better understand the problem of racial wealth inequality, he added.
“What we know is that one or two datasets don’t tell the whole story, especially when you’re talking about something like racial wealth,” Evans-Harris said.
BWDC also offers a resource library with articles, reports and case studies aimed at improving racial welfare equity.
“The power of our work is not just to be able to provide data, but to have people use it to improve conditions and improve racial wealth equity,” Evans Harris said.
Garnesha Ezediaro, who directs the Greenwood Initiative, says that in the past few years, there has been an increased focus on addressing racial inequality in the United States, including racial wealth inequality.
“So we saw an opportunity to help be that resource and have more access to data to help make decisions about where to invest. [and] what are the opportunities to scale programs or policies or initiatives,” he said Fifty ways.
Government officials and other organizations often work with limited resources and time, and Ezediaro said he hopes the BWDC will allow them to conduct research and analysis that would otherwise take hours, days or weeks to conduct.
Prosperity Now, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing racial and ethnic economic justice, is incubating BWDC.
“For too long, those involved in developing meaningful programs to address racial well-being disparities have had to use the critical resources of our organizations to seek out and access the data we need to support our work,” said Gary Cunningham, president and CEO. Prosperity is now in the statement.
The launch of the tool coincides with the federal government’s efforts to update standards for collecting, reviewing and maintaining data on race and ethnicity. The Office of Budget and Management held its first public hearing session Thursday as officials move to revise the standards, which haven’t been updated since 1997.
Evans Harris said the moves help BWDC’s mission to bring greater understanding to racial wealth disparities.
“Once that happens, you’ll start to see more aggregation of data and increased access to different datasets, which will allow us to create a more holistic and nuanced picture,” he said.
BWDC partners with the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, The Urban Institute, and DataKind for source data.