Forest T. Harper, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer, INROADS
It is inherent that organizations such as INROADS, Inc. fight for racial equality, and this nonprofit has been doing so for 50 years. Created to deliver innovative programs and creative solutions that identify, accelerate and elevate the development of underrepresented individuals, INROADS has been the vehicle that changed lives for 40,000-plus alumni who have benefited from their programs through professional development and mentorship. So much so that new data now reveals INROADS as a conduit for helping to impact America’s racial wealth gap.
During INROADS’ Virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration on November 4-6, 2020, the data was revealed at The Disruptive Innovation Diversity Summit, Presented by P&G’s Take on Race initiative. This summit featured speakers from around the globe dealing with complex issues from corporate social responsibility to workplace culture. Top executives from companies such as UnitedHealth Group, P&G, Burson Cohn & Wolfe and others joined an executive panel to discuss diversity issues of today, in an effort to form solutions. Adam Davids, director of learning at CareerTrackers, created dialogue through his seminar “Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in America.” His discussion disclosed research from CareerTrackers showing INROADS as a bridge for the underrepresented that leads to generational wealth accumulation.
“America’s racial wealth gap is unmistakably the end result of failures both in the public and private sectors, as well as unique historical roadblocks along the path toward generational wealth accumulation for Black people. Closing this gap, which is centuries in the making, requires commitment and innovative thinking on the part of public policymakers, nonprofit organizations and corporations,” says Adam Davids, Fulbright Scholar and researcher at CareerTrackers.
According to CareerTrackers, INROADS alumni attain greater levels of wealth than that of their white, college-educated counterparts. As found in the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, approximately 37% of college-educated white households have a net worth range of $500,000 to $5 million. In comparison, 40% of INROADS alumni have the same net worth range. Research also reveals that 71.3% of white families own their homes. INROADS alumni outpace this with 76% of their alumni being homeowners.
One example is Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Consumer Banking at JPMorgan Chase. In 2019, Duckett’s interview with The New York Times revealed INROADS impact on her life, “There’s a program called INROADS that focuses on getting minorities into business, and that really changed my life. INROADS helped me get an internship … while I was in college, and that was my entry into corporate America …”
As America continues to spiral in various directions due to pandemics and inequalities, INROADS is positioned to create opportunity for the underrepresented, opening doors and creating pathways to building generational wealth. Corporations and foundations are now beginning to see their role in supporting underserved communities and as a result are investing in the INROADS mission.
“INROADS is an irreversible solution for corporations and foundations looking to close racial wealth disparities, and this data gives amazing insight into our impact. As Corporate America and foundations increase their efforts toward corporate social responsibility to repair injustices by pledging $100 million to $1 billion to Black businesses and other efforts, we see a previously missed opportunity now being used to connect the underserved to wealth,” says Forest T. Harper, Jr., President and CEO, INROADS.
To find out more about this powerful study, connect to INROADS YouTube Channel to view Adam Davids’ presentation on “Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in America” and other content.