Philadelphia/ Community & Society
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Published on April 17, 2024
Philadelphia Targets Racial Wealth Gap with CityStart Initiative, Backed by Bloomberg and CFE Fund SupportSource: City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is setting its sights on reducing racial wealth disparities, launching wealth-building strategies hand in hand with the CityStart initiative. This effort, as part of a strategy to foster financial stability for families and communities, focuses on empowering the economically disadvantaged and tackling racial wealth inequality at its roots.

Innovation and inclusive economic growth are at the core of Mayor Cherelle L. Parker's administration. Committed to closing the economic gap, the Mayor plans to eagerly invest in workforce development and ensure equitable distribution of resources through initiatives backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative. In a statement released by, Mayor Parker stressed the importance of creating "quality jobs with family-sustaining wages, benefits, and a path to economic mobility."

The partnership with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) will be a boon for Philly, as the city receives a $75,000 planning grant along with hands-on technical assistance to build a tailored blueprint fostering generational financial stability, especially for Black residents. Jonathan Mintz, CEO of the CFE Fund, told that the CityStart initiative helps cities "to create a community-informed plan for transforming residents’ financial lives and advancing racial wealth equity."

Philadelphia joins a cohort of cities like Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and Little Rock, AR, which were also chosen to participate in this competitive initiative. Truly hoping to bridge the wealth divide, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative's Garnesha Ezediaro underscored the economic and communal advantages of reducing racial wealth inequity. She mentioned the anticipated result being to help "Black residents flourish financially and build intergenerational wealth," as per

Moving beyond blueprints, evidence of success in financial empowerment is sprouting up in cities like Cincinnati and South Bend, which have previously been part of the CityStart initiative. Cincinnati has deployed $2 million in public funds to forgive medical debt, while South Bend is now offering free financial counseling in historically Black neighborhoods. These initiatives are practical examples of what Philadelphia's efforts could yield, creating not only a more equitable city but also a testament to the power and necessity of focused economic policy.