Voices for Change special: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The racial wealth gap between Black people and white people is projected to take 228 years to bridge, according to research from the University of St. Thomas. Identifying the challenges and facing the reality of contributing factors is the first step toward address the issue.

Scholars and economists have identified many contributing factors to the wealth gap disparities in education, homeownership, criminal justice and lack of access to jobs. FOX 9 spoke with Artika Tyner, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas whose research on the racial wealth gap gives us insight into the history and why the problem exists in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, for the labor gap, experts say a whole new world of opportunities has opened up since COVID-19. Louis King, the CEO of Summit Academy in Minneapolis, has decades of experience in education, youth development and workforce development. He talked about one of Minnesota's biggest challenges – the lack of stable, middle class Black community.

U.S. Bank recently conducted research and detailed the results in an insights report called, "Building Black Wealth." One statistic shows 80% of Black respondents feel there are still institutional roadblocks impeding their ability to accumulate wealth. Greg Cummingham, senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer, talked about the study and the solutions to this ongoing issue.

Many of U.S. Bank's initiatives to address social and economic inequities are well underway, including efforts to increase the number of Black financial advisors over the next two years. Learn more here.

The road to success is full of challenges, and statistics show it's even more difficult for women of color. The story of Gloria Freeman details the struggles on her journey. In the late '90s, she was struggling to make ends meet, dealing with a divorce and still trying to be a mom. Today, she owns several businesses and two commercial buildings.

Gloria is the CEO of Olu's Home. Learn more about her work here.

This Voices for Change 30-minute special aired at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 27.