South Bend community group to host meeting about racial wealth divide

NOW: South Bend community group to host meeting about racial wealth divide

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend's Community Forum for Economic Justice is working to make sure everyone in South Bend benefits from community investment and development. Wednesday night, they'll host a meeting about the racial wealth divide in an effort to close the gap.

The launching pad for the meeting is a report put together by the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity NOW, in partnership with the city of South Bend.

The goal, in essence, is to identify inequalities so policymakers can level the playing field.

According to the report, economic security in all South Bend homes is worse than the national average, with households of color feeling the brunt of the disparity.

A pretty staggering statistic presented says the median African American household income level in South Bend is $14,000 lower than the national average, and the income poverty rate for the same group is 40.2%--almost two times higher than the national average.

White households come out on top when comparing median household income among the following racial groups: Asian, Black, Latino, and White.

The report also compares liquid asset poverty, which measures the liquid (easily spendable) savings households keep to cover basic living expenses in the event of sudden job loss, a medical emergency, or other financial crisis that results in the loss of a stable income.

According to the report, black households are two times more likely to live in liquid asset poverty than their white counterparts, with Asians not far behind.

When it comes to home ownership, whites are still more likely to own their own home, and the property value of that home is the highest of the four racial groups.

With minorities making up about 40% of households in South Bend, community leaders say that divide needs to change.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday night at the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

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