Time to play fair

by Michelle Chen on March 31 2009, 9:13PM

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke uttered some bold words when he announced that the Obama administration would be focusing on promoting “fair trade.” In a Wall Street Journal interview, he argued for “minimum standards that other countries should abide by…

Topics: Economy, Global Affairs

Higher learning headed downward

by Michelle Chen on March 30 2009, 9:12PM

The fiscal crisis besieging state budgets is stretching America’s bootstrap mentality to a breaking point. Most states have slashed funds for higher education, including the community colleges and public universities that provide a critical avenue for low-income youth of…

Topics: Economy, Immigration, Schools & Youth

Dealing with Race and Dollars at Johnny Donuts

by Tammy Johnson on March 30 2009, 3:10PM

photo credit: Nemo Johnny Donuts is my neighborhood sweets spot. It’s a corner café, where a tight-knit Chinese family kicks off the day for Black, Latino and white nurses, bus drivers and middle-schoolers with a breakfast roll, juice or…

Topics: Economy

Do You Know People of Color Who Lived Through the Depression?

by on March 28 2009, 11:54AM

Is this like the Great Depression? The question fascinates news makers. The Times is running stories every week about life in the Depression, comparing California’s tent cities to shantytowns and asking questions about the job prospects for young people….

Topics: Economy

Payday Lenders Target Blacks and Latinos

by Daisy Hernandez on March 26 2009, 12:58PM

File this one under “things we suspected but didn’t have data to prove.” A study released today shows that payday lenders in California target Black and Latino neighborhoods and in the process drain $247 million from these communities. The Center…

Topics: Economy

Magic Johnson Pitches for Predator Jackson Hewitt [Video]

by Jorge Rivas on March 19 2009, 1:30PM

Magic Johnson is appearing in an advertising campaign throughout the 2009 tax season for Jackson Hewitt, the franchise tax preparer notorious for preying on low-income people. Kimberly S. Jones of the California Reinvestment Coalition has written a piece over…

Topics: Economy

What’s the New-Old?

by Adrienne Maree Brown on March 17 2009, 1:12PM

you know i often hear forrest gump in my head. “i may not be a smart man, but i know what love is.” this economic moment has been crystallizing that phrase to me. i’ve been thinking a lot about what…

Topics: Economy

Peering into Waters

by Michelle Chen on March 16 2009, 1:56PM

Should we be shocked at reports that Rep. Maxine Waters, a staunch defender of fair lending on Capitol Hill, is at the center of a controversy over bailout ethics? The Times reported last week that in September, Waters requested a…

Topics: Economy

Use the Race Lens to Scrutinize Financial Products

by Jorge Rivas on March 16 2009, 12:37PM

by Jose Garcia, via Open Left Democratic lawmakers in Congress last week introduced legislation to create a Financial Product Safety Commission to ensure that mortgages, credit cards and retirement accounts do not pose unacceptable risks to consumers. Such a move…

Topics: Economy

Taking the lending industry to court

by Michelle Chen on March 13 2009, 8:20PM

The NAACP has taken on lending industry behemoths in two class-action lawsuits against Wells Fargo and HSBC. The complaints, brought on behalf of Black Americans who have been victims of discriminatory lending, target: numerous mortgage lenders who are engaged…

Topics: Economy

Refocusing the lens on AAPI communities

by Michelle Chen on March 10 2009, 3:30PM

Waves of job cuts and foreclosures make it clear that not all boats rise or sink together, even when weathering the same storm. The Economic Policy Institute has analyzed the ups and downs of one group famous for striving toward…

Topics: Economy, Immigration

Plastic meltdown

by Michelle Chen on March 9 2009, 6:25PM

As the banking system takes a nosedive, credit card companies are looking to cut their losses. And consumers—particularly low-income people and people of color—are being hit with a variety of creative methods. James Surowiecki at the New Yorker observes some…

Topics: Economy

Calif. Transportation Dept. to Reinstate Race-Conscious Contract Goals

by Jorge Rivas on March 9 2009, 1:10PM

via Keith Kamisugi @ Equal Justice Society The Coalition for Economic Equity (CEE) on Friday announced that after a nearly three-year hiatus, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is poised to reinstate race-conscious goals for federally funded transportation contracts in…

Topics: Economy

Shifting the landscape of segregation

by Michelle Chen on March 6 2009, 5:42PM

Many of us grew up in cities where racial segregation was embedded in the landscape. A study by the Urban Institute traces how this came to be the status quo in American communities, and the way race relations, government policies,…

Topics: Economy

Race matters in New York’s budget crisis

by Michelle Chen on March 6 2009, 5:10AM

New York’s budget crisis is hitting the entire state with major cutbacks, and a public interest advocacy group has detailed who will be hurt the most under Governor David Paterson’s budget proposal. Not surprisingly, in many areas, the budget is…

Topics: Economy

Investment Opportunity!: Countrywide Alumni Profiting from Economic Crisis Now Seek Investors

by Dom Apollon on March 4 2009, 6:37AM

The New York Times is reporting today that alumni from Countrywide Financial — one of the chief culprits of the greed-fueled subprime mortgage debacle that largely sparked our current global economic crisis — are now profiting from the purchase of…

Topics: Economy

Listen to today’s Compact for Racial Justice Forum Call - Race & Jobs

by Jorge Rivas on February 17 2009, 2:04PM

If you missed today’s Racial Justice Forum call on “Race and Jobs” you can download a recording. You can download an MP3 or stream the recording below. Download MP3 (6.4MB) A special thank you to today’s participants. You can find…

Topics: Economy

Check the Color Line - Income Report

by Jorge Rivas on February 17 2009, 12:55PM

If you have questions during the Compact for Racial Justice Phone Forum please submit your questions to…

Topics: Economy

Racial Income Gap Chronic Problem Even Before the Meltdown

by Jorge Rivas on February 17 2009, 11:37AM

The Applied Research Center has released its study, “Check the Color Line - Income Report” in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The report presents alarming data on persistent racial and ethnic income disparities at…

Topics: Economy

The Opportunities of Our Economic Crisis

by Guest Columnist on February 17 2009, 11:37AM

by Steven Pitts Center for Labor Research and Education Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Congress just passed the much needed stimulus plan. It was very much an imperfect plan: too many tax cuts, too small as an…

Topics: Economy