By the Numbers

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The Costs of Racial Inequity

The Detroit region is one of the most innovative and diverse regions in the nation. Its 300,000 plus businesses employ 2.5 million people and drive a regional annual GDP of $279 billion, which is greater than 29 states.

It has never reached its full potential and prosperity because of systemic inequities, government policies that provided opportunities to white people but not to black people and others, and attitudes that held black people as less than white people.  While slavery was America’s original sin, the system of government decisions, business bias, and overt and unconscious racist attitudes of individuals have prevented Blacks from the opportunity to accumulate wealth and live the full American experience.

As the Black Lives Matter movement helps focus attention on addressing the racism against black people, leaders in other minority communities are supporting Black Lives Matter while raising awareness about addressing discrimination against other minorities and women that also requires attention to achieve a more inclusive, welcoming region.


A Timeline Of Discrimination And Missed Opportunities

As the U.S. ramped up the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II, an estimated 200,000 migrants came to Detroit exacerbating housing shortages and racial tensions. As America built the 20th century middle class and shook off the economic pain of the Great Depression, prosperity and wealth accumulation unfolded on a supremely unlevel playing field. These inequities perpetuated the economic inequalities at the heart of today’s social justice movement and the racism it seeks to end. Explore the full timeline here.

Related Resources:

State of Inequality

Cost of Accepting Status Quo

COVID-19 and Equity