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Racial Economic Justice UK

We explore and uncover the racialised roots of our modern financial and monetary system. 

The problem

Our financial and monetary system is not neutral or isolated from racism and other structures of oppression. It has deep roots in slavery and colonialism which shaped our modern financial system into one that is extractive and upholds an unequal distribution of wealth and resources. Our finance-led economic model is not working for everyone and is widening social and economic inequalities. This only serves to amplify existing and historically built up racial inequalities and injustices. That is why we need to build a movement that addresses both racial and economic justice.

Racial inequalities across multiple dimensions are widening in the UK. This is visible in the racial wealth gap, with Black African and Bangladeshi people owning 10p of wealth for every £1 owned by a white British person.  

We saw from the pandemic and also the cost of living crisis that black, brown and racialised communities are disproportionately impacted in terms of high rates of infection and mortality rates and by adverse economic impacts including higher debt, poverty and unemployment levels. 

What we need now

We aim to put racial justice at the heart of economic justice through policies directly targeting widening racial inequalities. This involves interrogating the blind spot in policy making around the racial inequalities produced by our economic model. We advocate for alternative policy tools that directly tackle the disproportionate impacts of crises and economic policies on black, brown and racialised communities. 

We are integrating a racial economic justice lens across all our areas of work, such as the impact of the UK’s housing crisis on black, brown and other racialised communities. Current key projects include:

  • Examining the role of Global North currencies and Central Bank policies in fuelling an unjust international financial system which sees finance flowing in the wrong direction, from rich to poor and the Global South to the Global North. This also looks at how new payments systems would support Global South-South economic cooperation and reshape global financial power dynamics.

  • The Green Central Banking Scorecard which ranks the G20 central banks and regulators on progress towards meeting critical environmental policies and initiatives. 

We are facing multiple economic crises, from the pandemic to the Cost of Living. At the same time, powerful movements have emerged - Black Lives Matter, and demands for a just transition, highlighting how racial injustices are deeply interlinked with our current financialised economic model. It’s crucial we keep confronting and exposing how the financial system reproduces and benefits from racism and other structures of oppression. 

We are doing ongoing work to explore and uncover the racialised roots of our modern financial and monetary system. This includes a blog series titled ‘exploring race, banking and colonialism’ and a webinar  on ‘how racism built our money and banking system’. 

We aim to increase the diversity of our team and build our internal knowledge of racial economic justice; to expand the people we platform, and the people who make up our wider movement. We recognise that as a white-led and Global North based organisation we have a lot of work to do to become strong allies to the wider anti-racism movement and to those on the frontline of the many struggles to achieve racial and economic justice. 

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