The Wharton School is among a group of national organizations that have pledged to close the racial wealth gap in the United States.
Multiple organizations, including Goldman Sachs and Starbucks, launched the initiative NinetyToZero in April to combat the 90% racial wealth gap in the United States between Black and white Americans. NinetyToZero aims to combat this disparity by providing a roadmap for companies to advance racial equity, Wharton News reported. Wharton is the initiative's lead research partner.
The project’s two main methods to reduce the racial wealth gap are recruiting and supporting Black talent, and increasing capital for Black-led businesses, Wharton News reported.
Wharton Dean Erika James told Wharton News that reducing economic disparities is an important step in social equity.
"We have to get comfortable talking about challenging issues like the racial wealth gap," James said. "Data-driven research plays a crucial role in taking the emotion out of difficult conversations and developing solutions to create a more equitable world."
NinetyToZero will receive guidance from both its partner organizations and its advisory council, which consists of CEOs and scholars, Wharton News reported. The organization will prioritize partner companies working with Black-owned banks and financial institutions and creating inclusivity programs internally.
Organizations that have joined NinetyToZero range from non-profit organizations to businesses to academic institutions. Some members include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Children's Defense Fund, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, McKinsey & Company, and Robinhood.
“More than 20 years of building our investment in Black communities have taught us that the way to narrow the wealth gap is to widen the door of opportunity,” CEO of Goldman Sachs David M. Solomon told Wharton News.
The Wharton School community has previously made efforts to close the racial wealth gap through programs such as Building Bridges to Wealth, a program that provides free financial literacy courses to the West Philadelphia community.