Turning the Floodlights on the Root Causes of Today’s Racialized Economic Disparities: Community Development Work at the Boston Fed Post-2020
2020 has dramatically exposed the pervasive structural racism in U.S. policies, practices, and institutions. This neglect and brutality stems directly from the intertwined, blighted branches that continue to grow from the firm racist roots of this country. Yet what distinguishes this moment from previous calls for racial justice is a cross-racial awakening to this hard truth that our present-day society was and still is intentionally shaped by racism. In recent years, the Boston Fed’s Community Development team has intentionally focused on addressing root causes of these inequalities, leading us to commit to a deeper understanding of the racist policies and practices that have contributed and to call attention to them. This field note casts floodlights on some of the most egregious incidents of racial injustice in our country’s history that helped create and continue to perpetuate today’s stark economic disparities and social unrest. The team’s rationale and current strategies for dismantling racist systems and our ongoing efforts in this vein are also discussed.