Parents Push for Policies to Address the Racial Wealth Gap

POWER-PAC leaders, Rosazlia Grillier and Rosalva Nava, along with COFI Senior Organizer Tracy Occomy, led a workshop on the impact of racism on financial security. The workshop was co-led by national expert, Tom Shapiro of Brandeis University.


POWER-PAC leaders are committed to addressing the growing racial and gender wealth gaps with their new economic justice campaign, Stepping Out of Poverty. Working closely with partner, the Illinois Asset Building Group (IABG), POWER-PAC’s initial policy change agenda includes:

1) End disincentives for low-income families to save starting with the elimination of asset limits for TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) recipients.

2) Expand access to college savings programs, starting with the State of Illinois’ Bright Start program so low-income and immigrant families can readily participate.

POWER-PAC and its partners already won a victory in this area, convincing the State’s Treasurer to allow immigrants with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers -ITINs- to participate in Bright Start!

3) Increase funding and resources for financial literacy coursesfor children and adults.

4) Advise and push the City Colleges of Chicago to expand supports that make it easier for low-income parents (in particular, mothers) to attend school.

The POWER-PAC committee has been busy this fall:

➢ In September, POWER-PAC leaders and staff traveled to Washington, DC to share their stories and policy recommendations.

➢ In November, the leaders provided a workshop at the Illinois Asset Building Group’s state conference in Champaign, Illinois (see photo).

➢ And, in December the team will travel to Miami, Florida to participate in a national dialogue about what they can do to end the racial and gender wealth gap.