You’ve likely heard of the racial wealth gap, and you may have already seen its impact on your own family’s ability to accrue generational wealth. It’s the phenomenon of the average white family having about 10 times the net worth of the typical Black family in America. That gap has persisted due to disparities in how Americans of different races can access homeownership opportunities, tax-sheltered savings plans, and make investments and accumulate savings that allow for intergenerational transfers, according to a Federal Reserve report. Essentially, the consequences of systemic racism continue to influence how much wealth the average Black family is able to build in this country compared to white families.
OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, has launched a campaign this Black History Month to help close that gap. The bank is encouraging Black Americans to take action in 2021 to increase the net worth of their families in an effort it has dubbed One Transaction.
“The reality is the racial wealth gap for each family can be closed by one strategic transaction,” Chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank, Kevin Cohee, said in a release sent to The Root about the campaign.
That transaction can be establishing a will, getting life insurance, purchasing a home or setting up automatic savings or an investment portfolio, according to OneUnited. In its announcement about the campaign, the bank acknowledged that public policy is critical to addressing the discriminatory practices that have contributed to the racial wealth gap, but says Black families can also take actions to build financial literacy and create generational wealth.
The OneTransaction campaign is happening in partnership with Visa, and the two entities are hosting a virtual financial conference on Juneteenth (June 19) this year to support the initiative. Featured guests for the conference include FUBU CEO and Shark Tank investor Daymond John, and Calvin Martyr, founder of The Blackout Coalition and #BlackOutDay2020, last summer’s viral movement encouraging people to make purchases exclusively at Black-owned businesses. If you’re interested in beginning the journey to building a financial legacy, you can get a free ticket to the conference at www.oneunited.com/onetransaction.