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  • Inclusive Access to Education Impacts Economic Mobility

    by Disha Dave

    Graphic showing raised hands of varying flesh tones. Each has a heart on the palm.

    A great part of how we live our day to day lives is dependent on a number of factors from the area we live in, the schools we go to, to even things like the economy and the opportunities that are present to us. The McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility has published two insightful articles on the great importance and need for inclusive access to education and economic mobility for Black people.

    There is an overdue need for making sure there is equity in the opportunities given to Black people and people of color. Even though there are equal rights policies and changes in our system, it is still not fully equipped to take the people that were once pushed into the endless cycle of disproportional poverty and discrimination for generations.

    In Investing in Black Economic Mobility, Diane Brady and Shelley Stewart have an insightful discussion on racial equity and inclusive growth. With the recovery of the economy and economic mobility post-pandemic, racial equity and inclusive growth of businesses are the key driving factors in this change. This is much easier said than done as there have historically been gaps in Black economic mobility that put people at a disadvantage from the time of slavery to segregation, and to even present day, as mentioned by Stewart.

    Even though there have been changes instilled in our system to bring educational and social gains for Black people, the wealth gaps are still disproportionate as Black families are said to make only one-tenth of what a white family makes. With that being said, it is crucial to invest in Black entrepreneurships and businesses as a way to influence change in economic mobility and also to provide for Black communities as there is inequity in the opportunities presented to them in order to close the racial wealth gap.

    The article How HBCUs Can Accelerate Black Economic Mobility looks at the critical roles HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) play in bringing opportunities of growth for Black Americans, as well as growth it brings to the US economy. According to the article, HBCUs have an average annual attendance of about 300,000 students per year with more than 100 institutions across the nation that identify as an HBCU. Since HBCUs offer an abundance of scholarships and acceptances supporting low-income families, more Black students of all socioeconomic statuses are able to have the opportunities to go to college.

    HBCUs are one of the driving forces that can promote economic growth by expanding opportunities for Black workers, as well as opportunities for Black businesses and entrepreneurships. This connects to the previous article as this is a major way where Black people and communities are able to achieve more economic mobility as well as close the racial wealth gap.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • Towards a More Equal World

    by Mariam Ameha

    A graphic with the word ‘inequality’ and a pencil erasing ‘in’.

    Inequality and Injustice in Society 

    No one is a stranger to the constant bombardment of the news on the inequalities and injustices that Black Americans face in our society. These, of course, are not limited to the U.S; but what we often find is that even in these universally experienced issues, there is much left to be done to truly mend them and their causes. They are all issues deeply rooted into the nature of humanity, to the point where no matter what one does to overcome them, they seem to be brought back to life. Surface issues are given surface solutions, but these deep-rooted issues need a more structural approach. 

    A Change to the Better

    Spilled milk is spilled milk, no matter how much you huff and puff about it. The happy news is we seem to be less and less in a position to have to huff and puff. We are experiencing a spontaneous collective movement, no matter how limited in scope, that aims to reduce these inequalities and further a level playing ground for all, regardless of the color of their skin or the tongue they speak in.

    Private and public sectors are slowly but surely dealing with these structural issues. The private industry has recognized the losses caused by underinvesting in the black community, so there are now firms that have started utilizing the talent members of the community provide which uplift the black population in the U.S. Needless to say, education is at the core for these inequalities. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been playing a crucial role in improving the wellbeing of Black Americans.

    Uplift one, uplift all.

    Shelley Stewart from McKinsey and Company, one of many private companies joining the fight against inequality, beautifully put the value of this fight by framing the issue regardless of economic or ideological background. “No matter what your school of economic thought, everyone agrees that fostering human capital and investing in people to unlock productivity is one of the most available levers we have” noted Stewart. And it is that lever that makes all the difference for everyone. 

    Reference: How HBCUs can accelerate Black economic mobility

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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