Bridging the Wealth Gap: A Vision of Equity

Jun 18, 2024

Did you know that the typical white family owns eight times more wealth than the typical Black family in America? Or that the average white man owns thirteen times more wealth than the average Black woman?  

Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) represents the official end of slavery in the United States, marking the day that some of the last enslaved people in Texas learned that they had been freed. While we celebrate the historical significance of this day, we also recognize the lasting, negative impacts that slavery, followed by enduring racism has had on Black communities in America.  

At Neighborhood Allies, we fight for racial equity and justice and strive to foster a more just, fair, and inclusive society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. One way in which we do this is through our work in economic opportunity, which addresses racial, gender, and geographic inequities in income, wealth, and opportunity. 

Through our collective efforts, individuals and families in our community are gaining access to resources that help them build generational wealth and achieve financial stability.  

  • Financial Education and Counseling: People are gaining the knowledge and confidence to take control of their financial futures, making informed decisions that lead to long-term stability. 
  • Safe and Affordable Banking: Access to banking services is being improved, allowing everyone to manage their money effectively and securely. 
  • Youth Financial Literacy: Young people are learning essential financial skills that will set them up for success, creating a foundation for future prosperity. 
  • Supporting Black Women: Black women are receiving targeted support to build wealth and achieve financial independence, breaking down barriers and creating new opportunities. 
  • Building Assets: Families are finding new pathways to accumulate assets and build generational wealth, ensuring a brighter future for their children. 
  • Encouraging Savings: Programs like Fund My Future PGH are fostering a culture of saving, helping families develop healthy financial habits and secure their futures. 

We know there are significant challenges, and much progress remains to be made, but our community is rising to meet these challenges with resilience and determination. Black Pittsburghers are gaining access to better resources, support, and opportunities through comprehensive programs and initiatives. With a robust network of programs, we are primed for the road ahead and are lucky to lean on trusted partners as we all work towards a more equitable Pittsburgh. 

Success Stories: 

  • Fund My Future PGH: This program has grown to include over 5,000 families, encouraging regular saving habits and making financial security a reality for many. Families are being rewarded for their efforts, building a habit of saving that will benefit them for years to come. 
  • Collaborative Efforts: Partnerships with banks, credit unions, and local organizations are expanding access to financial literacy and savings opportunities, ensuring that everyone has the chance to build a secure financial future. 
  • Inclusive Savings Programs: Programs like Keystone Scholars and PA ABLE accounts are making it possible for all families, including those with children with disabilities, to save for the future and build wealth. 
  • Investment in Black-owned businesses and organizations: In 2023, Neighborhood Allies invested $1.37 million into 122 different minority/women-owned businesses and organizations.  
  • Helping Black women build wealth: In 2023, we served 93 Black women in Pittsburgh through Money Talks, a virtual community and financial education program created to reduce barriers that women of color face in building generational wealth by increasing their knowledge and confidence in money management and investing. 

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA