Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth - April 2018

Altarum Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) released this report detailing the economic impact of racism, and the benefits of advancing racial equity as the demography of our nation continues to evolve. As businesses, policy makers and thought leaders attempt to track, analyze and ultimately manage the impact of the U.S. shift from a white majority to a minority majority, the availability of data on the progress and pain points within health, education and crime and justice will be even more important.  

The brief draws research from a range of sources including the Center for American Progress, National Urban League Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the U.S. Department of Justice, weaving statistics together to tell the broader story of race in America and its costs – including an expensive incarceration system and a massive loss of productivity.  

The brief was funded through WKKF’s America Healing effort, launched in 2010 to support programs that promote racial healing and address racial inequity. The program works with hundreds of organizations in communities across the country in an effort to build an understanding of how racial injustices of the past create inequities for today’s children. Throughout its more than 80-year history, WKKF has supported communities seeking to create conditions that improve the life outcomes of vulnerable children. 

In a note introducing the report, Dr. Gail Christopher, WKKF vice president-program strategy said, “The data and comprehensive analysis outlined in [this report] demonstrate how race, class, residential segregation and income levels all work together to hamper access to opportunity. With these proof points in hand, our partners across the country voice their concerns for vulnerable children and families – to find support needed to advance racial healing and racial equity.”

“The Business Case for Racial Equity” lays out the potential benefits to business, government and the economy of addressing racial inequities, pointing out specific areas of opportunity in housing, education, health and crime and justice. The document outlines the history of discriminatory policies across these areas and the disparities they created, going on to estimate the potential benefits of seizing opportunities to promote equality, including an increase of almost $2 trillion in minority purchasing power and millions of job opportunities for college graduates.