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IASP in the News

Wealth Patterns Among the Top 5 Percent of African-Americans

Ferguson and White Rage by Carol Anderson of the St. Louis American: Political Eye

How Wealthy Black Americans Invest Their Money Differently From Rich White Americans by Melvin Backman of Quartz

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What's New


Race Today: A Symposium on Race in America

This day-long symposium brough a group of the nation’s most respected intellectuals on race, racial theory and racial inequality together to consider the troubling state of black life in America today.  IASP's Director, Thomas Shapiro, spoke on "Black Wealth/White Wealth: Hidden Costs of Being Black".


IASP Presents at LERA's ASSA/AEA Annual Meeting

Associate Director Janet Boguslaw, Senior Scientist Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Research Associate Jessica Santos and Graduate Research Associate Sara Chaganti spoke at the Labor and Employment Relations Association's ASSA/AEA Annual Meeting.  Janet and Sara presented "Beyond Wages: Structuring Inclusion in Wealth Building Employment Opportunities", Laurie presented "Elements of a Culturally Effective Health Care Organization", and Jessica spoke about "Employment Networks and Access to Good Jobs: Employment Policy for Social Relations".  LERA organized 27 sessions.  LERA is an umbrella organization where professionals interested in all aspects of labor and employment relations network to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues, and practices in the field. The American Economic Association encourages economic research, issues publication on economic subjects and encourages perfect freedom of economic discussions.

A Job Is More Than Income

Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, and Graduate Research Assistant, Sara Chaganti, presented "A Job is More Than Income: The Role of Employment Capital in Producing Long-Term Financial Stability" at the Society for Social Work and Research conference "The Social and Behavioral Importance of Increased Longevity" in New Orleans, LA.  The presentation drew on recently published briefs in the Leveraging Mobility Series.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Society for Social Work and Research.


Who Benefits from Federal Tax Subsidies?

IASP, PolicyLink, CFED, the Asset Funders Network, along with others hosted a webinar that explored who benefits from federal tax expenditures by income, race, ethnicity, and zip code.  The webinar featured new data and insights, along with a discussion about how tax policy proposals expand savings and investment opportunities for lower-income households and households of color.  The webinar will be posted here when it becomes available.

Phase One Report on Secure Jobs Initiative Released

After completing the first year evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative, IASP releases Secure Jobs, Secure Homes, Secure Families Phase One Outcomes of the Massachusetts Secure Jobs Pilot, which summarizes short-term employment and housing outcomes for Secure Jobs Phase One participants as well as participant, employer, trainer, and staff assessments of this new initiative. The Secure Jobs Initiative is designed to link homeless families who were participating in Massachusetts’ HomeBASE program to the resources and services they need to enter and sustain employment.


IASP Director Interview in Black Heirlooms

Black Heirlooms is a documentary about wealth in America from an intergenerational perspective. When the 86 year old matriarch, Mee-Mah Royal was hospitalized after a stroke, her 8 children became irreconcilably divided over her care and small estate. Through the stories of her children, grandchildren, and supporting interviews with prominent researchers—such as IASP's Director Tom Shapiro—lawyers, and financial planners.  BlackHeirlooms examines the need for intergenerational planning to transfer family wealth, traditions, and values. Click to watch "Black Heirlooms"

Location, Location, Location Webinar

Utilizing IASP's most recent brief in the Leveraging Mobility Series, "Location, Location, Location: The Role Neighborhoods Play in Family Wealth and Well-Being", this webinar explored how policy can help create a fairer distribution of opportunity by neighborhood.  Moderated by Alexandra Bastien of PolicyLink, participants included: Alexis Mann, IASP Research Associate; Deborah Goldberg, Special Projects Coordinator at the National Fair Housing Alliance; and Christopher Brown, Director of Government Affairs at PolicyLink.

Research Director Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Opportunity Act

IASP's Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, participated in a panel discussion, State of the State: Poverty and Inequality in Massachusetts. As part of MASSCAP's "Joining Together: Ending Poverty Now", this symposium celebtrated the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act and featured a major report on poverty and inequality in Massachusetts from Poverty to Opportunity. Congressman Jim McGovern was the keynote speaker. 


Director Shapiro Speaks at Gettysburg College

As part of Gettysburg College's Civil Rights Movement Series, IASP Director, Thomas Shapiro, spoke to students and faculty on "Navigating Toxic Inequality".  

Director Shapiro Speaks at Neighborhood Partnership RE: Conference

Thomas Shapiro was the lunch plenary speaker at the Neighborhood Partnership RE: Conference this year.  He presented the fourth brief in the Leveraging Mobility Series, "The Web of Wealth: Resiliency and Opportunity or Driver of Inequality".  Attendees included those interested in housing opportunity, nuturing small business, increasing access to the tools and resources needed to thrive, and providing individuals and families the financial bedrock needed to overcome the barriers of everyday life.


IASP Presents at CFED Asset Learning Conference

IASP Associate Director, Janet Boguslaw, and Senior Research Associate, Hannah Thomas, presented at this year's CFED Asset Learning Conference.  Janet discussed "Wealth Building and Protection in the Workplace" and Hannah spoke on "Household Economic Well-Being and Mobility".  Both drew from findings in recently released briefs from the Leveraging Mobility Study. 


Director Shapiro Discusses Key Driver to Racial Wealth Gap on Al Jazeera America

Director Tom Shapiro appeared on Real Money with Ali Velshi to discuss the role that homeownership plays as a key driver of the racial wealth gap. Director Shapiro explained, using Ferguson, MO as a real-life comparison, that housing is the largest driver of the racial wealth gap.  Real Money with Ali Veishi airs on Al Jazeera America weekday evenings at 7 pm, click to check your local listings.

JULY 2014

Web of Wealth Webinar

Asset Funders Network hosted a webinar that explored the role of extended family wealth networks in providing resiliency and opportunity, examined how wealth networks drive inequality, and discussed the implications for funders and practioners.  Hannah Thomas, Senior Research Associate, presented findings from the latest IASP Leveraging Mobility Series brief "The Web of Wealth: Resiliency and Opportunity or Driver of Inequality?.  To view the webinar, click here.

Research Director selected as Visiting Scholar at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank

IASP Research Director, Tatjana Meschede, was selected to be this year’s Visiting Scholar at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, joining the Department of Community Development to carry out two projects analyzing recently collected data, the National Asset Scorecard and Communities of Color (NASCC) survey for Boston.  Dr. Meschede’s projects include a description of the Boston Racial Wealth Gap and analyses on the impact of financial resources in kinship and social networks on household wealth by race and ethnicity. Dr. Meschede will also collaborate with colleagues at the Bank on additional analyses using this new data set.

More What's New


IASP is Hiring

Would you like to be a core member of a dynamic team?  Does our work excite you?  If you answered YES to both of those questions then you may be the team member that we are looking for.  IASP is looking for a dynamic individual excited about advancing IASP’s research and policy agenda in two areas: understanding the major drivers of the racial wealth gap and advancing our understanding of wealth mobility and economic security for families with children.  Click to read more.

Featured Projects

Study Examines Wealth Creation and Wealth Management Among the Nation’s Wealthiest African Americans

Click to view reportCredit Suisse, in collaboration with IASP, released “Wealth Patterns Among the Top 5% of African Americans” highlighting the distinctive investing behaviors within the top 5% (as measured by net worth) of the African-American community.  The study showed that the top 5% of African Americans invest a greater proportion of their wealth in lower-volatility assets relative to a white comparison group, including insurance, savings bonds, and CDs.  Click here to read more

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

New Report Examines the Disparities in Neighborhood Opportunity

Click to download the reportPeople are drawn to neighborhoods for various reasons—family ties, connections to friends, attachment to institutions—yet, the financial and social resources that a family has access to within these neighborhoods affects a family’s well-being and ability to gain social and economic mobility.  In “Location, Location, Location: The Role Neighborhoods Play in Family Wealth and Well-Being”, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy examines the disparities in neighborhood opportunity. This brief delineates between high opportunity and low opportunity neighborhoods, explains the disparities in neighborhood opportunity and reveals the reasons why families are sorted by race and class into different quality neighborhoods.

Drawing on longitudinal survey and interview data, this brief seeks to understand how families negotiate the diverse structure of neighborhood opportunity and explores their experiences of living in different types of neighborhoods.  National-level longitudinal quantitative data illustrates the consequences of where a family lives and highlights why families place so much emphasis on gaining access to the “right” neighborhood. 

The history of racial segregation in the United States has laid the foundation for ongoing neighborhood opportunity segregation.  Policy has helped structure the segregation of opportunity by race and class, and so policy clearly has a critical role to play in helping to create a fairer distribution of opportunity by neighborhood.

IASP Launches Racial Wealth Audit™ Tool

Evidence that the United States’ racial wealth gap is large and persistent is undeniable with disparities in household wealth by race/ethnicity well-documented by researchers. What communities and policymakers do next to address and alleviate the existing racial wealth gap will be crucial for shifting the dynamics of racial and economic equality in the country.

To help bring policy action to the next level in this crucial area, today the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos announce a new research framework and tool for understanding how proposed and current policies influence the racial wealth gap: the Racial Wealth Audit™.  This new analysis tool will shift both policy discussions and actions to ensure that racial wealth disparities are at the forefront of policy decision-making throughout the policy process.  By establishing a structure for understanding impacts of policies on the racial wealth gap, the Racial Wealth Audit™ will promote policy action that directly combats the racial wealth gap we see today.  By providing better knowledge at the fingertips of policymakers, advocates, and communities, the Racial Wealth Audit™ will be a key resource for promoting dialogue that shifts policy efforts toward much-needed solutions to the racial wealth gap.

The Racial Wealth Audit™: Measuring How Policies Shape the Racial Wealth Gap,” outlines the need for the Racial Wealth Audit™, its applicability to policy, and our agenda for putting this new tool to work in a series of reports over the coming year in collaboration with our partners at Demos, who will help us to expand the reach and impact of the Racial Wealth Audit as we engage the public and policymakers in efforts to close the racial wealth gap.

Report Seeks to Understand Whether Extended Family Wealth Networks Provide Resiliency and Opportunity or Drive Inequality.

Click to Download ReportClick to view the webinar

The fourth report in the Leveraging Mobility series, "The Web of Wealth: Resiliency and Opportunity or Driver of Inequality", explores family financial assistance and seeks to understand whether extended family wealth networks provide resiliency and opportunity or drive inequality. Families often help each other out financially. In the short-term, financial help limits those in the network from economic collapse or a serious decline in their standard of living. Over the long-term, extended family financial support can provide a steppingstone to better opportunities, such as going to college, starting a business, or purchasing a home. 

Financial transfers can fundamentally change a family’s lot in life. This network of extended family financial assistance is a “web of wealth” that, in the U.S., profoundly shapes individual family members’ social and economic trajectories beyond their own achievements in work and education. A web of wealth depends on the financial resilience and affluence of its members. Some wealth webs are packed with prosperous individuals. Many family webs have no wealth, especially low-income, African American, and other family of color networks. Across generations, historic policies have contributed to this inequitable wealth distribution.

For media inquires or to receive a hard copy, please contact Charity Adams at (781) 736-8685.  For more information on this report or the Leveraging Mobility series, please contact Tom Shapiro at (781) 736-4671.

Report #3 in the Leveraging Mobility Series Explores Financial Disruptions

Click to view ReportClick to view webinar

Income-disrupting life events–divorce, unemployment, poor health, caregiving–occur far more frequently than we think with real costs and consequences for financial well-being. These life events can have deeper consequences that shift life’s trajectories and curtail family-member's dreams.

Not everyone experiences the same risk of income-disrupting life events. Nor do all families have the same depth of resources to navigate them. The result, these life events affect families differently. This new Leveraging Mobility series research brief, Keeping Dreams Alive: The Lane-Changer Costs of Financial Disruptions, reviews how families bear the costs of income-disrupting life events and the financial context that impacts how they make decisions to maintain immediate well-being. This report looks at ways policy can increase the capacity of families to stay on track as well as methods that policy can generate opportunities for families to overcome income-disrupting life events. 

For media inquires or to receive a hard copy, please contact Charity Adams at (781) 736-8685.  For more information on this report or the Leveraging Mobility series, please contact Tom Shapiro at (781) 736-4671.

Issue Brief Assesses Workforce Diversity in New Hampshire's Health Care Sector

Click to View the BriefNationally, it is well known that African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and certain members of the Asian/Pacific Islander population are underrepresented in certain segments of the U.S. health care workforce.  This mismatch between the patient and provider population contributes to health disparities and excludes minority professionals from jobs that pay well and offer advancement opportunities.  For the first time, Missing Persons?  Health Care Workforce Diversity in New Hampshire examines available data to assess whether the health care workforce in New Hampshire mirrors national trends and answers two questions:  To what extent is New Hampshire "missing" certain groups of people in its health care workforce?  What are some key trends by race and ethnicity in Southern New Hampshire's health care workforce?   

Findings demonstrate that racial and ethnic minorities are over-represented in nursing and residential care facilities, and underrepresented in hospitals and ambulatory care settings, indicating that workers of color may be missing out on jobs that pay well and offer opportunity for advancement.  This brief was produced under the ongoing research projects Beyond Supply and Demand funded by the Endowment for Health, and the Healthcare Employer Research Initiative funded by the U.S. HSS Administration for Children and Families. For more information, contact Jessica Santos at (781) 736-8685.

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