#DearCommunity from Jessica Fuentes Salgado

Dear Community,

The Racial Wealth Gap

Since the beginning of times, people of color have faced discrimination and loss of wealth. Will people of color have worked hard for many years, white Americans have continued to grow their income. As we all know white Americans have always had a privilege compared to every other person of color. In the past money had slaves on them, even though we have overcome it, this still doesn’t mean there’s equality between people of color. In January 1865 the African-American community was asked to have land, Lincoln signed the bill and made it official. Unfortunately, because of peoples of hate for African-Americans, it ended up causing the assassination of Lincoln. Lincoln’s successor removed the bill and people were evicted. A lot of white Americans continue to tell people of color to just stop looking in the past. It was something their ancestors did to us and we shouldn’t be complaining, but the truth is it may be something their ancestors did, yet they continue to hate us. They teach their children to heat us, as well as to bully us and make fun of how we look. They continue this by not letting people of color live in certain places like redlining. The meaning behind redlining is in Real estate offices or banks there would be a map that would show areas that African-American people could not live in. This would mean if a family was to ask for a loan in the bank for a home they would need it to get approved by looking at redlining and in real estate offices, they could disapprove of an African-American family buying a home that was outside of the red line. African-American men and women would have to see if they could get someone to lie for them and buy a home in a white community so they could have a chance to pass their home down to their family. Because of redlining, there is a significant gap an African-American wealth and white wealth. Even though we are in the year 2020 there hasn’t been significant progress in African-Americans wealth. Latinos have also been greatly affected by the wealth gap. According to the Asset Building Policy Network, the income gap of Hispanics is $39,000 compared to white households it’s $61,000 that is 37% more than what Hispanics make. The wealth gap compared to a white household is $171,000 and Hispanic’s wealth gap is $21,000. That is nearly 88% more than Hispanics and this is only including the assets one inherits. Although, Hispanics have had a low wealth gap there are ways to help. Encourage saving money to invest in low-income homes, to increase income, protect household wealth, and to understand the problems that are happening in low-income households. Well, it may not be a lot, at least it’s something that could contribute to a bigger change in the future. We shouldn’t have to let the color of our skin determine how wealthy or how poor we may be in the future it’s up to us to make the change.

Jessica Fuentes Salgado


#Dear Community is an initiative by SRA to spread awareness about social justice issues, particularly related to the Black Lives Matter movement. This student-voiced series will consist of articles, videos, and other forms of media that our students want to share regarding their personal experiences, why the movement matters to them, and their journeys of growing through unlearning/learning/re-learning. SRA’s goal is to amplify and provide a platform for student voices, bring awareness to current and relevant social issues, inform others about how these issues are affecting certain communities (including our students), and inspire ways in which you can help.