A year ago, the most important economic institution in the country held the position that there was nothing it could do about racial disparities. Today, according to the Wall Street Journal, there is “a rising recognition within the Fed that the racial gaps in the economy are becoming more pronounced and that there is a role for monetary policy to play in shrinking those gaps.”
Today — for the first time ever according to one Senator — the Chair of the Federal Reserve’s testimony included the unemployment numbers for Blacks and Latinx. The Chair did this because, according to her, the Fed wants a broad-based inclusive recovery that reaches everyone. This is a big, big change.
This change in Fed policy and practice would not have happened without the constant pressure from communities of color across the country demanding to be heard and demanding that the economic conditions of Black and Latinx be counted and no longer ignored. Most assumed that the Fed could never be changed, and the Black and Brown activists on the Fed Up campaign are proving that assumption wrong.
Oh, and Elizabeth Warren threatened Congressional reform from the left if the Fed didn’t appoint more Black and Brown folks quick.
Shout outs especially to TheSpacesProject who has shown up in force to Yellen’s testimony today and back in February, and Common Good Ohio, New York Communities for Change, and Make the Road New York, who made the long trek on short notice to be present and hold Yellen accountable. And to everyone that applied pressure throughout the year through meetings, actions, tours, workshops, and hearings. Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO), Sunflower Community Action, Texas Organizing Project, Community Labor United, Action United, Action NC, Rise Up, Action Now Institute, MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). cc: Center for Popular Democracy.
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