Taking on our region’s greatest challenge

The Trust was designed over a century ago to be nimble and agile enough to bring our community together to face our most pressing challenges and seize our greatest opportunities. Today, that means confronting the racial and ethnic wealth gap.

The wealth gap is staggering—and it holds our entire region back.

At the household level, the racial and ethnic wealth gap highlights the vast economic disparities between white, Black, and Latine families. In the big picture, it’s about the loss of investment in our region’s potential.

Did You Know?

  • For every $1 of wealth accumulated by white families, Latine families have eight cents and Black families just one cent.
  • Chicago’s population growth lags our peers in the top 10 U.S. metro areas—and our economic growth ranks 80th among the country’s 100 largest metropolitan economies.
  • Experts estimate our region would gain $4.4 billion annually and the gross domestic product would rise by about $8 billion if the region were less economically segregated.

To make lasting change, we must begin at the roots.

The Trust is focused on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap because it is a root cause of violence, homelessness, food insecurity, the education gap, and so many other societal challenges.

Not having wealth doesn’t just make it difficult to afford life’s basic needs at a moment in time. It’s about opportunities—or lack thereof—over the course of a lifetime that can make a huge impact on the trajectory of a person’s life, as well as the larger community.

Our response to wealth inequities will determine our region’s future.

The Trust envisions a Chicago region where equity is central, and opportunity and prosperity are in reach for all. Achieving this vision will take all of us working together to address wealth disparities.

Together, we can make our region better for all.

The work to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap will not happen overnight, but in partnership with donors, nonprofits, community members, business leaders, and local government, it can be done. We hope you will join us on this journey.

Dive deeper into the racial and ethnic wealth gap.

The wealth gap between white, Black, and Latine households in metropolitan Chicago has been on the rise for generations. Explore facts about the wealth gap.

Facts About the Wealth Gap

Want to learn more about what you can do?

We’ve compiled a list of ways you can take action to address the racial and ethnic wealth gap in your community, workplace, and business.

A Call to Action