Forum held to discuss racial wealth divide

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:17 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Several non-profits addressed racial inequities in Savannah at a forum Friday. They hope to get the community to talk about solutions to issues dividing the community.

Several residents and Savannah leaders joined in on a discussion geared towards finding a solution to poverty and a wealth divide in Black and Hispanic communities.

According to statistics by Black Wealth Data Center shared in the presentation, Black people have the highest poverty rate and unemployment rate in Savannah. According to organizers, 53 percent of Savannah residents are Black.

The presentation also highlighted how these numbers are a result of systemic barriers like housing discrimination and redlining that happened decades ago.

Panelists from the non-profit Step up Savannah, Bank of America and Sapelo foundation discussed one solution. They say minority non-profits need better ways to secure grants and funding to help more people in their communities.

“Those households lack sufficient net worth to be able to not only build wealth but subsist at poverty level. They don’t own homes, cars, they don’t have 401K’s, life insurance, a lot of things we take for granted and largely because of long standing systematic barriers,” Step Up Savannah Director Alicia Johnson said.

She says the best way to overcome those hurdles is by having conversations like this one and work together as a community to get words into action.