With a 3.6% unemployment rate, the U.S. economy is clearly recovering from the COVID 19 pandemic at record speeds. However, the economic recovery has shown the impacts of continuing systemic racism and discrimination in the labor market. For many Black men — older and disabled Black men in particular—continue to experience persistent gaps in both employment and economic opportunity. For Black and Latinx women, the employment rate still showed declines of 0.8 and 0.4 percentage points greater, respectively (as of Oct. 21), than the overall employment decline from just before the pandemic.
There has been renewed focus on the root causes of this uneven recovery to help inform solutions. Researchers and thought leaders are examining the pre-existing systems and conditions such as occupational segregation that pushed Black & Brown women into lower-wage jobs with limited or no protections or opportunities for upward mobility. In California, for example, the median annual wage among the most common jobs for Latinx women is only $27,000. Black women in California are more likely than any other group to struggle economically at all education levels. This has long-term implications for economic security and mobility for both women and their families.
Join us for this conversation to better understand both the root causes of economic inequity and associated solutions to these historic challenges, including:
- Data highlighting the drivers and impacts of labor market inequities
- Specific policy solutions to address these drivers and build income and wealth
- A workplace equity framework for economic justice; and
- Where funders and economic justice advocates should focus their efforts to address key drivers and support solutions
Grantmakers: You are invited to join us after the webinar (11:00 AM – 11:45 AM) to share your reflections, engage with other funders, and discuss opportunities for future learning + action around workplace equity in California.
Kung Feng, Jobs with Justice San Francisco
Kung Feng (he/him) is the executive director at Jobs with Justice San Francisco and joined Jobs with Justice (JwJ) as lead organizer in 2012. Kung’s contributions to the labor movement span over fifteen years, starting with organizing workplaces from the bottom up as a rank-and-file activist with the ILWU, the longshore and warehouse workers’ union. He organized immigrant workers and ran strategic campaigns with UNITE HERE, the union of hotel and restaurant workers. At JwJ, Kung created Labor for Black Lives, spearheaded labor and community efforts for housing rights, and led innovative campaigns supporting fast food, retail and app-based workers. Within weeks of the 2016 elections, he co-founded Bay Resistance, a regional network of over 50 organizations and a project that has trained and mobilized thousands of people. Kung has brought together countless activists, leaders and organizations to build power for our movement.
Michelle Holder, Ph.D, Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Michelle Holder is the president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. She joined Equitable Growth in September 2021. Holder also is an associate professor of economics at John Jay College, City University of New York, where she is currently on academic leave. Her research focuses on the Black community and women of color in the U.S. labor market. Named one of 19 Black economists to watch by Fortune magazine, Holder has authored two books, Afro-Latinos in the U.S. Economy, published in May 2021, and African American Men and the Labor Market during the Great Recession, published in 2017.
Leslie Payne, Irvine Foundation
Leslie Payne joined The James Irvine Foundation in 2016 as a Senior Program Officer and was named Initiative Director in July 2021. Leslie leads Irvine’s Better Careers initiative, which focuses on readiness for and access to middle wage jobs. Prior to her work on Better Careers, Leslie led the culmination of Irvine’s Elections Policies and Practices work as well as the Arts Engagement program. She was also a part of the Foundation’s Fair Work initiative pilot, Strategic Partnerships team, and Research and Development team.
Prior to Irvine, Leslie held a variety of roles in mission-driven organizations in the private and independent sectors, specializing in strategy, innovation, and partnerships. She serves on the board of Innovate Work Labs and Telescope. She has almost two decades of experience helping organizations learn, adapt, and grow to find effective ways of meeting complicated challenges.
Anne Price, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Anne Price is the first woman President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. She previously served as Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at Insight from 2011 to 2016. Anne was one of the first national thought leaders to examine and push for narrative change in addressing race, gender and wealth inequality. She was also was one of the first experts to make the connection between criminal/civil legal system debt and racial wealth inequality by focusing on state-sponsored child support debt.
Anne is an experienced researcher, advocate and trainer. She has spent more than 25 years working in the public sector on issues that range from child welfare to hunger to workforce development and higher education.
Prior to joining the Insight Center, Anne served as Project Director for California Tomorrow’s Community College Access and Equity Initiative. Anne also spent several years at Seattle’s Human Services Department where she served as the Community Development Block Grant Administrator and Strategic Advisor to the Director.
Anne’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Mercury News, Citylab, O Magazine, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review and other publications. She has appeared on MSNBC and Noticias Telemundo. Anne is fellow at the Roosevelt Institute in New York. She also currently serves as Board Chair at United for a Fair Economy in Boston.