Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on Thursday the launch of the Black Wealth Data Center’s (BWDC) Racial Wealth Equity Database in an effort to tackle the stark racial economic divide in the United States.
In a news release, the company said the database would give users access to wealth data by topic (assets/debt, education, employment, homeownership and business ownership) and compare the data by race, sex, age, education attainment and location.
“The Black Wealth Data Center will be a resource, we hope, for leaders who are making decisions about investments and for Black families, Black communities and Black institutions,” the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative program, Garnesha Ezediaro, told The Hill in an interview.
Bloomberg also said the initiative will add datasets and functionality to the database, as it looks for ways to create opportunities “to offer new tools for the field to better interpret racial equity data.”
Ezediaro said the program hopes the database will be the go-to place for policymakers and public leaders, as well as journalists, to develop or cover new policies seeking to bridge the racial wealth gap.
“We believe that they will use and benefit this data,” she added. “The data center is not a think tank, but instead a data resource for leaders who are trying to decide when and how to invest.”
According to data provided by Bloomberg, in 2019 the typical Black family had one-eighth the wealth of the typical white family. Given current trends, the median Black household wealth will fall to zero by 2053.
The center will also host events where community leaders will discuss the power of data to help drive solutions for racial wealth equity, the news release said.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative is a national program focused on accelerating the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families and addressing systemic underinvestment in Black communities across the U.S.
President Biden announced the launch of the Property Appraisal Valuation Equity (PAVE) initiative last year, which was created to root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations.
The Black Wealth Data Center is also partnering with organizations such as the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and the Urban Institute to collect local data for the database.