Our Inside the Trust series highlights the vital work of Trust employees across different pillars. Our foundation’s successes would not be possible without the work of each and every individual behind the scenes, and it is a privilege to be able to share their stories.
This week, we are highlighting our Growing Household Wealth team.
Growing Household Wealth
The Trust is focusing its strategy to close the racial wealth gap on increasing economic prosperity for current and future generations of Black and Latinx individuals and families. The Growing Household Wealth initiative creates opportunities for households to increase incomes, build assets, and reduce debts while addressing the systemic structures that perpetuate economic inequality.
- Joanna Trotter, Senior Director of Community Impact
- Rachel Pate, Impact Coordinator
- Shandra Richardson, Program Manager
- Caleb Herod, Program Manager
What do you do at the Trust?
Joanna: I have the great privilege of leading the Trust’s Growing Household Wealth strategy, a robust set of initiatives designed to get to the root cause of wealth inequality for families. We are addressing persistent income and asset gaps, as well as tackling predatory practices in lending and fees that have extracted wealth for years disproportionately from households of color.
Rachel: I am an Impact Coordinator on the Growing Household Wealth team in the Community Impact department. I work closely with my teammates to strategize, distribute grants, build community partners, strive for racial equity, communicate the importance of closing the racial wealth gap, and specifically help coordinate the initiatives and grantmaking we execute as a team.
Shandra: As a Program Manager, I manage asset-building initiatives and grantmaking under the Trust’s Growing Household Wealth Strategy. Specifically, I lead two programmatic efforts that support entrepreneurs of color and homeownership for Black and Latinx communities.
Caleb: I’m just starting out with the Community Impact and the Growing Household Wealth teams. As the newest member of the team, the best thing I can do is learn—learn what works and learn where I uniquely fit to help these teams achieve their goals. A couple of the projects I’m starting off with center around workforce development, education, and financial programs.
What is Growing Household Wealth?
Joanna: The Growing Household Wealth strategy focuses on three core areas:
- Income inequality: removing the barriers that exist within the education and workforce systems that have held people of color back from growing income and wealth.
- Asset Creation: ensuring that people of color have the support and tools they need through policy change and direct services to build assets in the form of savings and investment, business development, and homeownership.
- Reducing Debt and increasing affordable credit: combating current predatory practices that target people of color and low-income communities and increase access to responsible and affordable credit.
How does your team support Growing Household Wealth?
Caleb: By supporting research, programs, and policies that strive to increase economic prosperity for current and future generations of BIPOC individuals and families, and create opportunities for households to build assets and reduce debts while addressing the systemic structures that continue to perpetuate economic inequity.
As a member of the Trust team, where do you see your greatest impact on the community?
Shandra: My greatest gift is the ability to convene and collaborate. The greatest impact I can make in my role is to create and facilitate space for innovation, goodwill, and reform to grow and to converge towards something transformative.
What is your personal motto?
Rachel: “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” — Bryan Stevenson
Responses have been edited for clarity.