Big Ideas for Racial Equity
At no other point in history has America grappled with as many threats to its stability and future prosperity as it is right now. Global warming jeopardizes the very existence of future generations. The economy has been disrupted to the point that whole industries are seemingly transforming overnight, causing the destabilization of communities and changing the nature of global relations. Moreover, in 2020 we were hit with one of the deadliest pandemics that the modern world has ever seen, and that underscored our nation’s failure to reconcile racial inequity and class disparities. We must begin by analyzing the policies that govern our cities, states, and nation, assessing their potential to meet the challenges we face with a focus on how national policies can be applied in a local context. To help state and local governments in this effort, EPU launched “Big Ideas for Racial Equity,” a roadmap for state and local leaders looking to address racial and economic inequity in our nation. The guide is a policy analysis tool of “big ideas” that have mostly been discussed at the federal level, along with providing resources and case studies for learning how to enact versions of the policy at the state or local level. Thirteen policy issues were assessed for their potential to meet the challenges we are facing, with a focus on how national policies can be applied in a local context. Each issue was evaluated based on the demonstrated ability to advance racial equity, the economic return on investment, research base, and ease of state and local implementation.