Partnering for Shared Prosperity in an Equitable, Vibrant Chicago

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This fall, The Chicago Community Trust publicly released its new strategic plan focused on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region. In addition to a series of meetings, data analysis and conversations with local community members and stakeholders, our strategy was informed through a year-long partnership with the Urban Institute that resulted in Chicago being added to the national Shared Prosperity Partnership, a network of foundations, researchers, policy and civic organizations committed to reducing the barriers to economic opportunities in cities and regions across the United States.

As a result of these collaborations, the Trust is proud to share two supporting resources:

  1. Urban Institute’s State and Local Approaches to the Chicago Region’s Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequity Research Brief
  2. A video documenting the Shared Prosperity Roundtable in Chicago this fall


The Urban Institute’s Research Brief synthesizes the evidence base and data on racial and ethnic wealth gaps in Chicago and nationally, and highlights a range of approaches that local and state leaders might consider to narrow wealth gaps. One of the major learnings over our year of work with Urban Institute was that we cannot program our way out of the system of inequities that hundreds of years of racially unjust policies have created. There isn’t a single policy, program or pathway that will narrow the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Closing the wealth gap requires a multifaceted, systems-focused approach. Using the key information shared in this brief, cities and regions can continue to transform, narrow the gap and create a more vibrant region.

The Chicago Shared Prosperity Roundtable was an opportunity to reflect on the realities of the racial wealth gap and explore potential policy and program-based approaches to boost incomes, build assets and reduce debt. We are the eighth city in the nation to join the Shared Prosperity Partnership, which includes cities and regions such as Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milwaukee. In Chicago, we heard from local and national voices on the data, the opportunities and the challenges in their own work to close the racial wealth gap. The video gives you a look inside the day along with key messages from Shared Prosperity partners and panelists.