Institute on Assets and Social Policy

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IASP in the News

"Balancing the Checkbook, and Much More, For an Aging Parent" by Michael A. Whitehouse in Huff/Post50

"Don't Start Your Golden Years in the Red: Tips for a Debt-Free Retirement" by Take Charge America in Business Wire

"Investing to close America's racial wealth gap" by Beadsie Woo in The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Race, Wealth and Me" by Lillian D. Singh in Huffpost Black Voices

"Stress and discrimination go hand-in-hand, psychologists' survey says" by Molly Jackson in the Christian Science Monitor

"The Investing Habits of Wealthy Blacks" by Stacey Tisdale in

See previously published news articles

What's New

June 2016

Chaganti selected as an Emerging Scholar, will present at conference

Research Associate Sara Chaganti has been selected as an Emerging Scholar at the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency. She will present a poster titled "Supporting Self-Sufficiency through Cross-Systems Collaboration: An Innovative Service Delivery Model for Homeless Families," based on data from IASP's evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative. 

May 2016

Shapiro, Traub to discuss Racial Wealth Audit in webinar

IASP Director Thomas Shapiro and Amy Traub of Demos will discuss the Racial Wealth Audit in a webinar sponsored by the National Consumer Law Center. "Minding the Gap: Using the newly developed Racial Wealth Audit to measure the impact of state and national policies on the racial wealth gap" will be held May 19 at 2 pm.

Meschede and Shapiro to present at symposium

Research Director Tatjana Meschede and IASP Director Thomas Shapiro have been invited to research and discuss the impact of family financial transfers on the racial wealth gap of college-educated households at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank's symposium, "Does College Level the Playing Field?" The paper drafted by the IASP research team, including Alexis Mann and Joanna Taylor, illustrates how racial disparities in receiving and giving financial transfers promote wealth growth for white households and add to wealth loss for black households. 

Chaganti to lead workshop 

Research Associate Sara Chaganti will lead a workshop, "Job Readiness Training for Homeless Families," at the Commonwealth Workforce Coalition's 13th annual Sharing Skills~Building Connections conference on May 17. This conference brings together workforce development practitioners to share best practices and innovative solutions to unemployment.

April 2016

Sullivan and Meschede on Race and Gender

Senior Research Associate Laura Sullivan and Research Director Tatjana Meschede publish Race, Gender, and Senior Economic Well-Being: How Financial Vulnerability over the Life Course Shapes Retirement for Older Women of Color. The article appears in Public Policy & Aging Report 2016.

Final report from the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative released

After four years and seven research papers, the summary report from the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative was released. This final report, Good Jobs Good Health: Diversifying the Workforce through Policy and Practice, summarizes key findings from this research and reflects contributions made by multiple team members and partners.

Meschede leads workshop on homelessness

Research Director Tatjana Meschede leads a workshop titled Creating Opportunities for Homeless Job Seekers at the Housing Ohio 2016 conference. She shares results from IASP's implementation and outcome evaluation of Secure Jobs Massachusetts, which is leading the field in innovative practices on how to best connect heads of homeless families with jobs.  

See more What's New

IASP Impact

The new Annie E. Casey Foundation brief, Investing in Tomorrow: Helping Families Build Savings and Assets, draws on IASP's research on the racial wealth gap.

IASP Director Thomas Shapiro spoke to CFED staff on American's growing racial wealth divide in the first of CFED's Race & Wealth podcasts

Sen. Elizabeth Warren used IASP's research in her September 27, 2015 speech at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate.  

Good Jobs Good Health cover

New IASP report highlights the role of policy in producing Good Jobs and Good Health 

The Healthcare Employer Research Initiative, a federally-funded research partnership with the NH Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs, and the study Beyond Supply and Demand, funded by the Endowment for Health, resulted in a comprehensive set of findings summarized in IASP’s new report, Good Jobs Good Health: Diversifying the Workforce through Policy and PracticeFindings point to a need for new collaborative program models and innovative policies for employment and economic inclusion.  This report draws together the findings from issue briefs produced over the last 4 years and focuses on five key policy areas:  building culturally effective organizations; diverse workforce training, retention, and advancement; network development; improving quality and performance; and patient and family engagement.

 Good jobs and good health are mutually reinforcing policy areas. When employers and other key partners strive to develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce, it increases opportunity in the healthcare sector and is good for communities.  Diversity also has positive impacts in the workplace.  This research contributes to a mounting body of evidence demonstrating that workforce diversity and cultural competency improve quality care, patient satisfaction, and return on investment – all of which have major roles in driving the industry today.  Policies and practices designed to create culturally effective organizations also produce positive impacts for those who obtain jobs in health care:  equity and access to good jobs is a key determinant of good health.  The healthcare sector is well positioned to lead the charge in developing a more diverse, productive, and sustainable workforce in tandem with more inclusive, adaptable, and culturally effective workplaces. The five key areas of policy and practice reviewed in this report comprise a new and broader way of approaching quality workforce and workplace development.

cover of Less Debt, More Equity"Less Debt, More Equity: Lowering Student Debt while Closing the Black-White Wealth Gap"

With rising numbers of young people accumulating student debt as they strive for a higher degree and a more secure economic future, the growing financial burden of student debt on young households is increasingly highlighted on the agendas of policymakers and the media.  However, policy conversations to date have failed to address the racial disparities that exist in student borrowing and how student debt impacts the racial wealth gap among young households. 

The Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) and Demos released “Less Debt, More Equity: Lowering Student Debt while Closing the Black-White Wealth Gap” to add a racial equity lens to the discussion.  Using the Racial Wealth Audit™, a framework developed at IASP to assess the impacts of policies on the racial wealth gap, this report highlights how new policies can both lower overall student debt burdens and reduce racial wealth disparities among young households. Such reforms must be designed carefully, directing debt relief towards low and moderate income households.  With momentum growing to address the burden of student loans, policymakers and advocates have the opportunity to develop solutions that could halt the growing tide of student debt while also reducing the substantial racial wealth gap among young households.

Shapiro discusses the Racial Wealth AuditTM

Featured Projects

Patient and Family Advisory Councils support organizational improvement and workforce diversity

Patient and Family Advisory Councils coverThe Healthcare Employer Research Initiative found that efforts to support workforce diversity are more likely to be supported by all members of an organization if they are part of a broader package of strategies to achieve organizational cultural effectiveness and quality care.  In recent years, hospitals across the United States have pursued patient and family engagement strategies to improve satisfaction and quality of care. One of the leading engagement strategies is to develop Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) – groups of current and former patients and family members who collaborate with a hospital’s staff to address pressing challenges confronting the organization. Diverse PFACs support a process of organizational improvement that positions healthcare organizations to deliver quality health care to current and future patient populations. Patient and Family Advisory Councils: Advancing Culturally Effective Patient-Centered Care provides guidance for healthcare organizations that seek to identify successful approaches to the development of diverse and effective PFACs.

Systems Change in Service Delivery for Homeless Families: Building and Leveraging Networks to Improve Service Provision

image of Systems paperIn 2012, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation, in partnership with the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, spearheaded a new service model for homeless families that integrates employment and housing services to provide holistic support to families in crisis. This model, called Secure Jobs, met with widespread support and now serves seven cities in Massachusetts, is launching in Connecticut, and has been showcased nationally. The third brief in this series describes Secure Jobs as an application of systems thinking.  Systems thinking suggests that a social problem needs to be viewed holistically in order to understand and address its multiple sources in a coordinated effort with sustained impact.  By forging a strong link between traditionally separated services, Secure Jobs creates the infrastructure to institutionalize service provision through a collaborative network, in which providers of different types of services partner with each other to examine and address clients’ multiple challenges in an integrated package.

For more information about this project, please contact Tatjana Meschede at (781) 736-8678.

"Tipping the Scale: How Assets Shape Economic Wellbeing for Women and Families"

click here to download briefCaregiving responsibilities and changes in household composition, such as divorce or separation, create financial challenges that disproportionately affect women. The seventh brief in the Leveraging Mobility series, “Tipping the Scale: How Assets Shape Economic Wellbeing for Women and Families,” examines how families leverage neighborhood, institutional, and personal resources to protect against these gendered, wealth-stripping forces. Framed by national trends that point to racial disparities in access to these resources, the brief uses comparative case studies to explore how unequal access shapes the set of strategies and trade-offs available to women and their families. A webinar cosponsored by IASP and PolicyLink was held on December 10

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