Time to pull some levers for economic security

By Dexter Hall

There are many different approaches or levers that must be pulled to ensure an inclusive economy for all Wacoans.

The question, of course, is which levers will we pull to provide the financial economic security for all of our citizens or will we adopt a “throw spaghetti against the wall” approach and see what sticks.

Varying organizations and institutions across the nation compile numerous reports to show what is and what is not working. We know the lessons of the past and the intentional levers that were pulled to create an unequal economy leaving our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) communities to suffer in poverty.

The National Urban League’s “2020 State of Black America: Unmasked” report, shows a Black-Equality Index of 73.8 indicating Black Americans are missing 26% of the pie. The same index shows Hispanic Americans at 78.8 indicating they are missing 21% of the pie.

The overall Equality Index is made up of the five areas with each being weighted based upon urgent need and importance. The chart below shows where Black Americans ended in 2020. The 59.2% index in economics shows Black Americans are missing almost half of the economic pie in comparison to White Americans.

On May 26 this year, Prosper Waco hosted “Addressing Financial Empowerment: Waco Prospers when All Wacoans Prosper.” I had the awesome opportunity to share with our mayor and other community leaders the levers that Prosper Waco would be pulling to move toward ensuring the economic and financial security for all Wacoans.

Through the work of the City of Waco’s Financial Empowerment Blueprint, we shared intentional strategies in the areas of Asset Building, Banking Access, Consumer Financial Protection, Financial Education, and Small Business Development and Financing.

In each area we shared a plan of work that we would be initiating or that was being done through partner organizations in our community that addressed the needs of our low-to-moderate income (LMI) community and small business owners.

We are grateful to work with individuals and organizations in developing specific intentional work to address the needs of all Wacoans and ensure an inclusive economy in our area.

Instead of throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks, we are partnering and working together to address immediate needs as well as short- and long-term needs of our community through intentional drivers that led to the 73.8 score in the National Urban League’s Black-White Equality Index.

Working together we can build the right spaghetti and meatballs for all Wacoans to prosper equally and equitably.

And, by the way, who likes spaghetti without meatballs?

Join us in the work for financial and economic security for all Wacoans by adding your sauce to this intentional spaghetti.

How can you help?

Volunteer your skill or experience in financial or legal services.

Donate to support the various initiatives in each area of focus.

Sponsor Financial Education Workshops for your groups, employees, associations, clubs, sororities, and fraternities.

If you would like to help or invest in supporting the financial and economic security for all Wacoans please contact me at [email protected]

Dexter Hall is chief of staff and senior content specialist for financial security with Prosper Waco. For more information on financial security contact Hall at [email protected].

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

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1 Comment

  1. Ashley Bean Thornton on August 27, 2021 at 6:31 am

    I’m proud of this work!

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