Moving toward racial equity is not only a matter of social justice; it could play a significant role in the nation's economic growth and fiscal outlook. As summarized in the new brief, "The Business Case for Racial Equity," initial research on economic impacts of racial inequities in the U.S. reveals trillions of dollars in lost earnings, avoidable public expenditures, and lost economic output.
Ani Turner is deputy director for the Center for Sustainable Health Spending, which is part of Altarum Institute. (Courtesy photo)Reducing barriers to opportunity for minorities will become even more critical given demographic shifts that are already underway. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, children will be "majority minority" by 2018, and, overall, people of color will surpass 50 percent of the population by 2043.
Racism in the U.S. has left a legacy of inequities in areas that impact achievement and quality of life. Opportunities that were denied to racial and ethnic minorities at critical points in the nation's history have led to the disadvantaged circumstances that many children of color are born into today. While significant progress has been made in eliminating legal discrimination, inequities by race and ethnicity remain imbedded in societal institutions and manifested in lending practices, hiring practices, law enforcement and sentencing, and other policies. Internal biases carried by both whites and minorities continue to subtly but powerfully influence how we view ourselves and each other.