- June 1, 2020
Statement from EARN and EPI
All of us at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) are angered and deeply saddened by the police murder of George Floyd, and so many other senseless deaths in the Black community—incidents rooted in a long history of anti-Blackness in our nation.
This is a horrible moment for our nation—and a moment that challenges each of us to commit to lasting change.
The racism that led to these tragic and unnecessary deaths has also created tragic economic disparities between Black and white people in the United States, a reality that the pandemic has magnified and laid bare.
EPI’s staff knows this all too well. For more than 30 years, EPI researchers have used the tools of economic analysis and empirical research to expose the truth about the glaring and growing inequality in the United States impacting working families—disparities that are disproportionately experienced by Black people.
Exposing and understanding the root causes of the systemic racism, inequities, and injustice in the U.S. economy is a necessary precondition for developing, advocating for, and ultimately implementing policy solutions adequate to the scale and scope of the problem.
We have all been shaken by recent events, which are bound by a common thread of bigotry woven throughout U.S. history. We all know that derailing racism is the only way to ensure that all Black people are able to live the supposed American dream, not the American nightmare we are witnessing now.
—The Economic Policy Institute staff
Originally posted here.
EARN members’ statements:
- (AL) Alabama Arise
- (AZ) The Arizona Center for Economic Progress
- (AZ) Children’s Action Alliance
- (AR) Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
- (CA) California Budget and Policy Center
- (CA) Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
- (CA) Working Partnerships USA
- (CO) Bell Policy Center
- (CO) Colorado Center on Law and Policy
- (CT) Connecticut Voices for Children
- (DC) Economic Policy Institute
- (DC) DC Fiscal Policy Institute
- (FL) Florida Policy Institute
- (GA) Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
- (HI) Hawai’i Appleseed
- (IN) Indiana Institute for Working Families
- (IA) The Iowa Policy Project
- (KS) Kansas Action for Children
- (KY) Kentucky Center for Economic Policy
- (KY) Kentucky Youth Advocates
- (LA) Louisiana Budget Project
- (ME) Maine Center for Economic Policy
- (MD) Maryland Center on Economic Policy
- (MD) Progressive Maryland/Progressive Maryland Education Fund
- (MI) Michigan League for Public Policy
- (MN) Minnesota Budget Project (tweet)
- (MO) Missouri Budget Project
- (MT) Montana Budget and Policy Center
- (NV) Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) (community wellness chat and Facebook livestream)
- (NJ) New Jersey Policy Perspective
- (NC) North Carolina Justice Center
- (OH) Policy Matters Ohio (resharing a statement and collection of resources from Feb. 2020)
- (OK) Oklahoma Policy Institute
- (OR) Oregon Center for Public Policy
- (RI) Economic Progress Institute
- (TX) Every Texan (formerly Center for Public Policy Priorities)
- (UT) Voices for Utah Children
- (VT) Public Assets Institute
- (VA) Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
- (WA) Economic Opportunity Institute
- (WV) West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
- (WI) Kids Forward
A selection of EPI resources and webinars on systemic anti-black racism through an economic policy lens:
- Ijeoma Oluo (author of So You Want to Talk About Race) leads Basic Principles for Constructive Engagement on Race
- Lynchings a century ago affect black voting behavior today: Jhacova Williams (EPI) explains her research showing that lynchings a century ago have the lasting effect of depressing black voter turnout today
- America’s debtor prison must be stopped: Damion Shade (Oklahoma Policy Institute) explains how the criminal justice system impacts black communities economically
- Contemporary Social Issues & the African American Experience: Featuring Angela Lang (BLOC), Valerie Wilson (EPI), and Jhacova Williams (EPI)
- Authors William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen discuss their book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century
- Rebuilding the house that anti-Blackness built in our COVID response (Also includes a discussion of the murder of George Floyd and the wave protests): Moderated by Naomi Walker. Featuring Jhumpa Bhattacharya (Insight Center), Anne Price (Insight Center), Rhonda Sharpe (Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race), Valerie Wilson (EPI), Jaribu Hill (Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights), Julianne Malveaux (Economic Education)
- Black Workers Roundtable: Policy Priorities during the 2020 Presidential Race: Moderated by Kirstyn Flood (EPI). Featuring Gbenga Ajilore (Center for American Progress), Jessica Fulton (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies), Janelle Jones (The Groundwork Collaborative), Dr. Algernon Austin (NAACP Legal Defense Fund)
- Black Workers Face Two of the Most Lethal Pre-Existing Conditions for Coronavirus – Racism and Economic Inequality: New EPI report by Valerie Wilson and Elise Gould
To explore more EPI resources on race and the economy, you can take a look at the videos and podcast episodes available on our website and YouTube channel. In particular, you can watch the recordings of the Program on Race Ethnicity and the Economy (PREE) workshop series: Turning Good Intentions into Constructive Engagement on Race.
- Basic Principles for Constructive Engagement on Race
- Race and Ethnicity in Empirical Analysis
- Building Effective Partnerships with Racial Justice-Focused Advocates and Activists
- Contemporary Social Issues and the Native American Experience in the United States
- Contemporary Social Issues and the Asian American Experience in the United States
- Contemporary Social Issues & the African American Experience
Contextualizing the murder of George Floyd and other black Americans murdered by police, the Black Lives Matter movement, and systemic racism in the United States:
- Trevor Noah explains how several recent events are all related to larger, systemic problems.
- Dr. Cornell West points out hard truths about inequality in America, and how that relates to this current moment.
- 13th, a documentary about the prison system, available on YouTube and Netflix.
- Bryan Stevenson on What Well-Meaning White People Need to Know About Race by James McWilliams (Pacific Standard)
- Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true by Nikole Hannah-Jones (New York Times, 1619 Project)
Tools for being anti-racist:
- Excellent guides from the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on talking about race and being anti-racist. The museum has a host of online resources that are worth exploring.
- So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo: A guide for having constructive conversations about race that are aimed at making long-lasting change
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson and
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi: A history of racist ideas in America. A retelling of American history that focuses on the ways that racist and assimilationist ideas and philosophies have shaped our country. The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic)