In partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hosted the Equitable Wealth Symposium on November 10, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This event is part of an ongoing equitable wealth building initiative that examines the barriers to wealth creation for people of color and advance conversations about how to address this issue.

Invited speakers focused explicitly on the systems and narratives that persistently extract wealth and erode financial stability, highlighted the research and data that have been explored, and elevated the approaches that are currently moving the needle on wealth building for people of color. The agenda featured contributors to the Future of Wealth Building, edited by Ray Boshara and Ida Rademacher, published in the fall of 2021.

View event recording:

Access event resources:

Featured speakers:

  • Alicia Atkinson, Managing Director, Financial Empowerment, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
  • Ray Boshara, Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
  • Kevin Carey, Vice President, Education Policy and Knowledge Management, New America
  • Diane Cornman-Levy, Chief Disruptor, WOMEN’s WAY
  • Sydney Diavua, Community Development Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Dania V. Francis, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts – Boston
  • Bill Golderer, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
  • Will Hall, Director of Financial Inclusion, City of Philadelphia
  • Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School for Social Research
  • Ianna Kachoris, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, The Chicago Community Trust
  • Katherine Lucas McKay, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
  • Markita Morris-Louis, Chief Executive Officer, Compass Working Capital
  • James Narron, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Julie Peachey, Deputy State Treasurer for Consumer Programs, Pennsylvania Treasury
  • Anne E. Price, President, Insight Center for Community and Economic Development
  • Lisa Servon, Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and Department Chair, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dafina Williams, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Opportunity Finance Network
  • Naomi Zewde, Assistant Professor in Health Economics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

About the Program

The Equitable Wealth Project
Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap in Philadelphia

Too often, conversations on wealth in Philadelphia focus on the immediate and visible needs of an unacceptably high and persistent income-based poverty rate. What many solutions fail to tackle are systemic barriers that prevent some communities and neighborhoods from building long-term wealth. The Equitable Wealth Project seeks to spark a new conversation — one firmly rooted in data and research — that will spark transformative change for our city. This two-year project will shift the paradigm of wealth building from one that focuses on unequal outcomes in communities of color to one that centers equity in the systems, institutions, and practices that support building generational wealth. Our focus is the racial wealth gap in Philadelphia, and through partnerships with researchers, funders, practitioners, and policymakers, we seek to build a stronger regional economy in which Philadelphia residents have access to a system that supports equitable wealth building.

Since May 2022, this project has sought to:

  • educate and develop a shared understanding and vocabulary around wealth creation in Philadelphia using a racial equity lens.
  • identify the roles that institutions and structural racism play in limiting opportunities for people of color to build wealth.
  • examine current policies, programming, and funding in our Philadelphia ecosystem and inform a shift in our priorities and approaches.
  • create a dynamic action plan that focuses on shared strategies and solutions for targeting and addressing the racial wealth gap in Philadelphia.

Through discussions driven by research and data and informed by the experiences of communities of color, session participants will examine the historical and racial barriers that prevent city residents from building wealth. This work will be ongoing, and we hope to continue this conversation well beyond our two-year engagement.