Black Lives, Black Health, Black Livelihoods, Black Wealth

Audio Description

With the advent of COVID-19, a severe health and wealth crisis is at play for Black Americans. James Seth Thompson speaks with McKinsey & Company’s Aria Florant and Shelley Stewart as they break down their extensive COVID-19 research and make the case for investing in Black lives and Black livelihoods now more than ever. How can we use this moment in history to rebuild America’s systems to be more equitable?


00:00 - 00:17

We are living in an unprecedented and challenging time, one where our nation's headlines have shifted from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans and communities of color to another painful reminder of the social injustice that continues to plague our Black communities.

00:18 - 00:40

This episode of Changing the Trajectory was recorded prior to the national protests in response to the death of George Floyd and those unfortunately preceding his. The current state of affairs and the worldwide outcry serves as a powerful reminder that the pre-existing conditions caused by systemic inequity impacts every facet of the African American experience.

00:40 - 01:09

Simply put, the measures and actions that support access and sustainability for the health, welfare, and prosperity of African American lives continues to be stripped away. No matter how you look at it, the virus and injustice can literally take your breath away. Many of the ideas, dialogue and solutions in this two-part series and certainly in episodes to follow, will address issues commonly at the root of COVID-19 disproportionate impact and injustice.

01:09 - 01:24

My hope is that all who fall victim to the vicious cycle of inequity and the incidences of discrimination will soon benefit from policies and practices that bring about true solutions for the lives and livelihoods of all African Americans.

01:29 - 01:45

Black America is disproportionately suffering at the hands of the COVID-19 crisis, but the disparities our communities face are not new. COVID19 is a pandemic that sits atop an epidemic fueled by a cycle of inequities that have been plaguing black communities and families for generations.

01:45 - 02:13

My guests today are from McKinsey & Company and are researchers who have extensively surveyed the adverse and far reaching effects of COVID-19 on Black communities. Join us for an analysis on what currently most affects Black America and how this moment in history is a chance to rebuild our systems to be more equitable. Welcome to Changing the Trajectory where we focus on the lasting impact

02:13 - 02:25

we have the power to create in multicultural markets and communities. I'm James Seth Thompson, Bernstein's Head of Diverse Market Strategy. Today, my guests are two amazing individuals from McKinsey & Company.

02:26 - 02:52

First, Aria Florant, who was an engagement manager based in the Washington, DC, office. Her client work focuses primarily on helping transform public and social sector organizations. And second, Shelley Stewart, who is a partner at McKinsey in their New Jersey office. Shelly's work focused primarily on commercial and strategic transformations across a range of business-to-business companies. And I'm so excited to have you guys join me today.

02:53 - 03:26

This is Part One of a two-episode conversation where we'll focus on some solutions to many of the challenges we know we are facing in our communities. But today, we're going to focus on your COVID-19 research and how the pandemic has heightened pre-existing challenges that face Black Americans. You know, I'm a strong believer in using research to eliminate misinformation and certainly confirm assumptions that we might all have, and being members of the Black community, we certainly have that.

03:26 - 03:34

You recently released a research report, look at the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on Black Americans.

03:34 - 04:06

But I first want myself and the listeners to really engage, to know what really inspired you to lead this charge for yourselves and your company. I'll start with you, Aria. I actually think maybe it makes sense to start with Shelly to share a little bit of the genesis of the research over the last few years and then I can jump in. Sure. Happy to start. Thanks, Aria. And to be clear, the impetus for this particular piece was actually Aria's. So that's nice of her to inspire us all to do this.

04:06 - 04:36

I think mainly out of a sense of fear that we all had with respect to what might happen. And unfortunately, a lot of that's playing out. But if I just take a step back and play out the movie a little bit. This is COVID-19 piece is an extension of some work that began a few years ago that myself, Aria, and a number of other colleagues launched with respect to accelerating wealth creation in Black communities.

04:37 - 05:01

So obviously, this is a topic that has been discussed, debated, worked on, workshopped in a number of different contexts by a number of wonderful organizations. And so we really took a step back to try to understand what could we add to this conversation, because we were all passionate, are passionate about making some progress on this topic of Black wealth creation.

05:02 - 05:30

And so we said, what is it that McKinsey does and how do we bring that same approach to this problem that we're all very passionate about? And we said there are really two big things we can do. One is we can bring facts. We can take that same analytical rigor that we take to solving client problems and lay out the fact base here so we can, one, diagnose and understand the nature of the problem, two, understand the different levers that might unlock solutions.

05:30 - 06:05

And then three, work with stakeholders to design a set of interventions. And then the second thing we do is as a firm, often is convening, convening across sectors and across companies and institutions to bring folks together, to get them all working in a common direction. And so we wrote a piece that really started this journey a couple of years ago. I did the research a couple of years ago, rather than published it last year around the economic impact of the wealth gap faced by  Black Americans.

06:05 - 06:27

And that piece really set the context for a broader discussion that we were trying to help accelerate around what is at stake for the US economy from closing this gap. And it's a pretty big number. It's around a trillion and a half dollars of GDP 10 years from now so that we can close the gap. And that's a staggering figure.

06:27 - 06:47

And I think all folks would say we need that kind of economic contribution. And so that was the that was the overarching metric we used to get people's head around what's at stake. And then when we really used that piece to go deep on the different stages of the wealth gap and the different stages that lead to wealth creation.

06:48 - 07:11

And so we've been continuing that dialogue for the last couple of years with lots of different companies and public and social sector institutions. And we had kind of been going, current course and speed of going deep on different topics and launching various initiatives. And we were teeing up some work around Black-owned businesses and the opportunity there when this whole crisis started.

07:12 - 07:33

And I'll turn it over to Aria shortly. But we basically, there are two things that we realized after a quick call that Aria organized. One was it's highly predictable what's going to happen with respect to Black lives and livelihoods. And that was our strong hypothesis that we set out to prove out.

07:34 - 08:02

And two, it's also probably an opportunity for us not to let this crisis go to waste, but use this very difficult time as a rallying cry to say, yeah, it's about the trillion and a half of GDP, but it's also about human suffering and lack of opportunity that, in the worst case scenario, whether it's a natural disaster or a pandemic, means staggeringly high, disproportionate death rates, which we are now seeing actually play out.

08:03 - 08:17

And so with that, we started down the road to say, how can we contribute to this conversation in real time so that we can influence change in real time. So, Aria, maybe over to you to talk a little bit more about that. Yeah, absolutely.

08:17 - 08:48

And I think just to add to what Shelley was saying, I think one of the biggest things that we've been thinking about as we sort of enter this broader conversation about the racial wealth gap is how do we use the platform of McKinsey to try to actually push this conversation into places where it hasn't been traditionally talked about? The racial wealth gap has been being studied for decades, but it was always kind of the same set of mostly public and social sector players that were in the conversation.

08:48 - 09:20

And we really thought, OK, well, how do we use the voice of McKinsey to actually figure out, well, what's the role for all institutions, private sector included, to actually come together and start thinking about solutions on this issue? And I think the time of COVID just in particular presents a sense of urgency that we haven't seen in a long time around, not only coming up with solutions that help people maintain their livelihoods, but also how we actually work together across sectors to do that.

09:20 - 09:45

So we got excited about sort of being able to help kind of push that conversation into these new spaces, I mean, in particular as people are reimagining what these systems look like in the recovery, how can we actually make sure that in all of those conversations and how we should be supporting vulnerable communities and in particular Black communities is actually a central question.

09:45 - 10:08

Look, I certainly appreciate the work that you and your company has done. You know, one of the frustrating things I've had during this time and we've had some personal tragedies in our lives that have specifically impacted us, you would think if you would just continue to watch TV and listen to the fodder, that it's COVID-19 that's bringing these inequities.

10:08 - 10:17

But in fact, these are pre-existing inequities. Right. And there are so many things that factor into it, including equity in education as an example.

10:17 - 10:52

But I think the biggest impact that we are feeling as Americans, Black Americans, along the lines of this being a health and wealth crisis. All right. So, you know, I certainly want to take some time to kind of look at some of the considerations that have come from the report along those areas. And we could start with the health side of things. Right. So what are some of the health considerations and the adequacies about health in general that have really been highlighted during this crisis? Yeah, absolutely.

10:53 - 11:11

So we have took a four-part structure to looking at this, first, obviously thinking about the likelihood of getting infected. Second, likelihood of being tested and therefore getting the treatment that you need, fourth being the likelihood of the disease becoming severe or fatal.

11:12 - 11:44

And then, in addition, looking at sort of the secondary impact of just a very strained health care system over a prolonged period of time. And and then across all of those, also thinking about populations that are especially vulnerable, even within the Black community. So, for example, the homeless population or the incarcerated population. And so, as you can imagine, the story is not great in terms of likelihood of infection in particular. Obviously, where you work is a huge deal.

11:44 - 12:11

And Black Americans are overrepresented in nine out of the 10 lowest wage essential high-contact jobs. So that means that they're going to work and they're being exposed, but that in addition, they don't really have the opportunity to say that they're not going to work because of that risk of exposure, because they're already not being paid a lot and need to make sure they can get through this time.

12:12 - 12:38

We also know that Black Americans are more likely to live in denser housing environments and in particular multi-family housing structures. And this even impacts women in particular, because Black women are more likely to be single moms, and single moms who are living under the poverty line. So kind of along all of those dimensions that Black folks are essential in the way that we are taking care of the world right now.

12:38 - 12:53

But it's also making it more likely that we get infected. And then across, testing has been a tough one because there isn't a lot of data. But we do know that Black Americans are more likely to live in a state that has a below-median testing rate.

12:54 - 13:13

That was the data as of the publishing of the report. Obviously, that has come out slightly more over time. But we're still seeing that it's going to take a lot of ingenuity to make sure that Black communities have access to testing sites at the same rate as other communities. And then obviously pre-existing conditions has been a huge one.

13:13 - 13:29

And this is everything from sort of some of the social determinants of health around where people live, more likely to live in places that have health, environmental factors that impact people's health. So more like they live in places that have higher pollution or that cause lung issues.

13:29 - 13:50

And then obviously, Black Americans are about 50 percent more likely to have diabetes and hypertension, also more likely to have asthma and kidney disease. Other things that are specific comorbidities for COVID-19 in particular. So that ends up just making it more likely that if someone gets infected, they're going to have a more fatal case.

13:51 - 14:19

I think one of the other challenging things that's highlighted both in the research and just kind of what we see, you know, on a daily basis is knowing when you think about the prison population, you think about homelessness, it's one thing to not have access to health care. But when you are in systems and environments where that's not even an opportunity to get access to those things. And you talk about the density of populations.

14:20 - 14:31

Obviously, that applies to the prison system, you know, I just find it interesting and found some of your research on the prison jail engine and that of homelessness to be something to be considered for sure.

14:32 - 14:58

Yeah, I think I mean, those are obviously two populations that are particularly vulnerable to things like this. And the one thing I'll add here is everything that Aria said was based on our before-the-fact analysis, we were trying to not necessarily predict where COVID would spread, but we said, if it spreads to these places, here's what we would expect to have happen. What we now know from the data, I think a couple of things.

14:58 - 15:26

One, in 90 percent of the states where COVID is, data is available, Black Americans represent a higher share of the COVID-19 cases than they should. And then what we also know and the way that kind of bubbles up is, from the data we have Black Americans are you call it 14 percent of the population, but represent 25 percent of all COVID-19 cases and 26 percent of deaths.

15:26 - 15:47

So all of that stuff that we did was before the fact. And now as we're living through this in real time, we're finding that, frankly, that's exactly what has happened, which is this disproportionate impact on health outcomes, which is both getting infected but also deaths. Unfortunately. Yeah, I mean, look, the fact of the matter is, you could have wrote this research report in 2018.

15:47 - 16:01

Right. And yes, we got hit with a COVID-19 this year. But I think what's important to recognize to your point, Shelley, is, you know, the challenge with this information is that it is pre-existing. Right.

16:02 - 16:36

Other side of the coin is wealth. Right. And there were economic complications that existed. But certainly, you know, as we see now, those complications are widening the wealth gap. You know, Aria, you talked about essential workers, right? And the fact that they are on the front lines and they are employed, but they are working in situations where many of those people would like to stay home, but they can't. They also represent, to your point, some of the lowest wage earners. Right.

16:36 - 16:51

So talk to us about some of the wealth considerations that are major contributors to where we are today and obviously feel free to kind of opine on where we need to go from there. Sure. Happy to.

16:51 - 17:25

The way I'll talk through the economic considerations is in the context of the way we define this wealth building journey across four states. I'll just hit each stage and then we can talk a little bit about each one. So first is the community context, the community that folks live in, and what's the hypothesis? The hypothesis is that the recession will exacerbate the inequalities typically in the community context around the use of public services. We know that Black communities, for example, tend to use public services more in a pandemic where those services are strained or shut down.

17:25 - 17:58

There's substantial opportunity for gaps to widen. Education being an example of that. On the family wealth front, we put business and entrepreneurship in this bucket and what we found before the fact is that Black-owned businesses are specifically very vulnerable because of the different sectors that they're in. So 40 percent of Black businesses are in sectors that all folks would deem vulnerable versus 25 percent of all businesses. So disproportionately overrepresented in these sectors. Family income.

17:58 - 18:15

This is all about going to work and collecting a paycheck. We know we've talked about some of this already, but there's these low-wage, high-contact jobs. We've talked about the high contact piece being a health issue. These are also just in general, lower wage jobs.

18:15 - 18:41

Then, so that means that there's obviously less income before the fact, and therefore, less savings. But there's also a significant disruption in the 40 percent of Black jobs is our numbers, as we estimate that for potential disruption which will severely inhibit the ability to generate additional income. And one thing we know from prior recessions is that Black Americans, when they lose their job, tend to stay unemployed for longer. And so that will have knock-on effects over time.

18:41 - 19:02

And then the last stage in the journey is family savings and support. And we know that Black families typically are less likely to have access to traditional financial tools like credit, which are very important to weathering these kinds of shocks. They typically have less family support available. And so there's just a number of challenges that this fact exacerbates in a crisis like this.

19:03 - 19:33

This next topic I want to talk about is kind of near and dear to me and us in many capacities. And Shelley, you slightly touched on the impact on Black-owned businesses. But when I think about institutions as a whole, right, Black-owned businesses, Black institutions of education, like, historically Black colleges and universities, you know, we're seeing kind of these huge shifts across all industries, to be totally honest, as people enact social distancing.

19:34 - 19:55

Any thoughts on how to ensure that institutions like Black-owned businesses and HBCUs are able to successfully transition to whatever the new normal is going to look like for us? And when may that happen? Just a second. Can I just jump in to make a point about the last part? All right.

19:55 - 20:12

You know, I think we often think about the lives and the livelihoods, pieces of this problem as separate. As consultants, we like to be structured and mutually exclusive. But I also want to just make sure that we touch on the point that they're just so interrelated.

20:12 - 20:36

I mean, if you are a person who gets COVID and you have to go to the hospital and you don't have a lot of money to pay for the hospital bills, then that's going to set you back even more. It might mean that you can't pay rent or your student loans and might affect your credit, which is going to then set you back even more, and probably make it so that you are living in a situation that makes you less healthy.

20:36 - 21:06

And I think that that sort of vicious cycle that could start with kind of being knocked off-kilter on either side, I think is just a really important piece of this, because as we look at the places where Black people live, they are at risk from both our lives and our livelihoods perspective. And so I think overall, the structure for just humans as a whole in these places, I think is increased. And I think that's the way we kind of have to think about where to go from here is how do you make sure that that vicious cycle gets stopped and turned around?

21:07 - 21:37

No, I appreciate that, Aria. And a big challenge that I see is just access, right? I mean, everything you just mentioned just highlights the fact that we as Black Americans just have lack of access to certain things. You know, Shelley touched on it earlier, right? When you think about unbanked or not having adequate financial relationships with financial institutions, you don't get access to capital, you don't get access to the loans that are available.

21:37 - 21:59

So this cycle ride just continues to just exacerbate and highlight the fact that this pandemic is creating a deeper hole, certainly deeper than the hole that we've always found ourselves in. And so, Shelley, I'll turn it back to you. I think that's right. And Aria, it's a great point on how the two are linked.

21:59 - 22:31

So if we talk a little bit about businesses, as I mentioned, Black-owned businesses are at particular risk given their sector composition. So things like leisure and hospitality, retail trade, construction, particularly leisure and hospitality, where 9 percent of all Black-owned business revenues come in that sector versus 3 percent for all businesses. And obviously there's a lot of disruption going on there. So this is something that we're quite concerned with.

22:31 - 22:40

The country as a whole is concerned, and rightfully so, about the health and survival of small businesses. And I think it's a particular challenge for minority and Black-owned businesses.

22:41 - 23:12

I think about what can be done. I'll come at it from three angles. I'll talk about the individual, talk about the private sector, and talk about the public sector. From an individual perspective, I think it's pretty easy. It's let's support our businesses, but let's understand where the Black-owned businesses are and let's make sure that we are there spending our money helping to support and make sure that where those businesses are open, they have customers coming in and they're able to continue and hopefully survive.

23:13 - 23:27

That's one on the individual side. I think the other on the individual side is, if you're listening to this podcast, that means you're likely staying up to date on a variety of different things that are going on with respect to support for small businesses.

23:27 - 23:53

Be an advocate as well. Take that information, talk to people in your community that own businesses, share what you're learning because there are things out there, they're not perfect. And we'll come to that. But also just spread the word on the programs that are out there. If you own a business and you're taking advantage of this, of a stimulus program or something like that, make sure you're connecting with other business owners who might be in your network. That's one. On the private sector side, there's a couple of angles, obviously, it's sector specific.

23:54 - 24:19

If you're a financial institution, like a bank, for example, or a company that has bad debt issues, credit, or other similar things, how are you thinking about being deliberate, about supporting minorities and specifically Black-owned businesses? How are you tracking, tracing and seeking out and making sure your understanding whether or not you're helping the businesses that are

24:19 - 24:31

most vulnerable, and not forgetting them because they may not have the biggest account balances or because they may not have the longest-standing relationship. So being very deliberate as a financial institution. Broadly in the private sector,

24:32 - 25:00

there's also just, it's not necessarily with retail businesses, but how are you thinking about your procurement process and making sure that in this time you're being thoughtful about including businesses owned by a variety of different owners, Black-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, et cetera, and making sure that's a deliberate, they call it supplier diversity. You can call it what you want but make sure you're being thoughtful about engaging lots of different suppliers, especially in a time like this.

25:01 - 25:21

And then from a public sector perspective, there's a couple of things as well. I think the procurement angle and a contracting angle holds. So as you're thinking about decisions, whether it's infrastructure projects or you've got the MTA, for example, to decide if they're going to implement certain sanitation policies and things like that.

25:22 - 25:44

How do you think about who you're contracting to do this business of doing in a thoughtful way that so, so that all types of businesses, especially businesses who need it most to survive, can thrive? And then the last piece on the public sector side is clearly everyone in the country agrees that we need stimulus, we need dollars flowing to individuals and businesses.

25:45 - 25:58

How do you make sure that money, that federal money that's being allocated is getting to the businesses that need it the most and in many instances that is minority-owned businesses because they're at the greatest level of risk.

25:58 - 26:21

And the last thing I'll say is, individuals, private sector or public sector all have a very vested interest in making sure, for example, Black-owned businesses survive and thrive, particularly in places where Black-owned businesses make up a large portion of the total set of businesses in that area.

26:21 - 26:44

If you have a group that makes up, it's just basic math, right, if you have a group that makes up a large portion and that group lags behind in the recovery, that's going to have a knock-on consumption effects that go beyond those businesses not surviving. And so I truly think any economic recovery plan or any economic development plan has to take this equity lens, or it won't be successful. So that's my view on the business side.

26:45 - 27:11

Aria, you want to talk a little bit about HPCUs? Yeah, absolutely. That was great. And I mean, I think a lot of the things that you're touching on also apply to HPCUs, I mean, all universities are going to be facing some headwinds. I think HPCUs in particular, are already, in some cases struggling with enrollment and therefore revenue declines. And so that's something that they're going to have to sort of mitigate in the next few years. And I think to me, I think there's a governance question there.

27:11 - 27:45

It's about how do universities really decide, OK, here's how we're going to approach next academic school year. We want to do virtual classes and we're going to make sure that students know that that's going to be the same quality that they're going to get supplemental communities build, even if they're virtual. I think what that's one of the challenges in particular with HBCUs is because students go in order to be a part of a very specific type of cultural and social community. And it's hard to imagine that that could be actually replicable online.

27:45 - 28:20

But I think there are opportunities for those schools to think about how to get creative there, because I think as a student too a lot of this is about kind of inertia, when you're a high school senior and all your friends are thinking about college or think about what they're going to do next year, it makes more sense for you to be doing that, too. And I think what we have to ensure is that over the course of the next couple of years, we don't lose that inertia. Even if students decide to do a gap year, for example, they can get connected with a gap year programs that are doing sort of virtual learning around public service.

28:20 - 28:25

Or maybe they could do a program like AmeriCorps. I did AmeriCorps.

28:25 - 28:54

I'm a huge fan because it is something they can teach amazing fundamentals around public service and leadership and then that can actually help students pay for universities later on down the line. So I think there are ways for HBCUs to partner with nonprofits, with the public sector to think about how to make sure that students can kind of continue that momentum. And then in addition, that will help their financial situations as well. I think that's awesome. Both perspectives you shared really tie in to some things I really, truly believe.

28:55 - 29:27

First, as someone who is employed at an investment management firm, you know, we certainly encourage investors who have means to actually physically invest in the things you both touched on. Right. There are organizations, grassroot organizations that exist. Right, to really positively impact and affect the pre-existing conditions that we find ourselves in. And you can certainly do the same with organizations that the money given is going to support institutions like HBCUs.

29:27 - 29:41

But there's there's also some very impactful and easy things to do. And I certainly co-sign this idea that's authored by a good friend of mine, Shawn Rochester. And that's PHD.

29:41 - 30:11

Shelley, you talked a lot about where you spend your money and where you deposit it. And that's exactly what PHD is. Purchase, hire, and deposit Black, right? Be mindful of where you spend your assets. And even if you have an organization or a company and you have a procurement budget, I refer to it as inclusive procurement, be very mindful and strategic about what vendors and contractors you're hiring from a hiring perspective, whether you're at large firms like ours.

30:12 - 30:48

But certainly, you know, when you think about the impact of unemployment and specifically the impact of unemployment for marginalized communities like the Black community, be very specific and intentional about hiring not just those people back, but when that recovery is done and we're back to whatever that normal is, continue to be very intentional in how you hire and certainly where you deposit. Deposit in institutions that will provide access and means to capital, and the means for businesses and institutions of higher education to certainly grow and advance.

30:48 - 31:15

So I certainly appreciate that part of the conversation. And look, at the end of the day, there are some inspiring things that can happen today for us to really impact those things. So here. Will we wrap up any enlightening or inspiring or just an Aha moment you had individually, not just doing the research, but certainly when you look at the results of the research?

31:16 - 31:33

So I think, unfortunately, as we did the research, a lot of the findings were consistent with what our hypotheses were about what was happening. And so that was a little bit disheartening.

31:33 - 32:03

That being said, I walked away from doing the work, feeling very, first surprised and inspired by my colleagues, because we were able to do it quite quickly and in a great deal of detail, if I can say that as a co-author. But I think what I'm inspired by is that we got the messaging out relatively early around the need for this equity lens when you're thinking about

32:04 - 32:27

testing and access to financial support, both individual and business, and so that dialogue, I hope that we move that dialogue along somewhat, but it certainly feels like it is more present in the media conversation about this topic and in the political conversation in a way that's moving towards action. We shall see.

32:28 - 32:47

But I do walk away feeling good that we were able to get it out there, especially this idea of tracking and tracing in real time on both the health and on the livelihood side. Because to us, the worst case scenario, it's not just that, it's easy to look forward and say this will set Black Americans back a generation.

32:48 - 33:03

But the human suffering today, the here and now human suffering, we can do anything to abate some of that for even one person. Then I think that we we feel quite good about that. So that that for me was what I walked away with.

33:03 - 33:38

Aria, anything on your side? Yeah, I was going to say something pretty similar. I think at the end of the article, one of the things we talked about a little bit is what are the enablers that could be sort of crosscutting across solution areas where we think it's critical to have an equity lens and two come to mind as being sort of closely intertwined. One is just about data. How are we collecting and reporting on data and disaggregating race in sort of our various KPIs, but then in addition, publicly disclosing that data and making commitments to an equitable response?

33:38 - 34:05

And I think we've seen over the last couple of months, one thing that has been exciting amidst the depressing is that institutions across sectors have really responded to that and have been more vocal about what they're doing in order to support Black communities. Personally, I think this is the kind of thing where it felt like it hit us. And I thought, like, how do I get in the ring?

34:05 - 34:36

I want to be fighting this thing. And we worked so hard to get this report out, but it felt so good to be kind of feeling like we were, like, supporting this sort of huge mobilization of effort that's going to be needed in order to come out on the other side of here. And we're blessed to be able to work from home and have relatively stable jobs. And it felt like this report was like sort of this labor of love for all of the people who are out there really on the front lines supporting our communities and our entire world.

34:36 - 35:00

So it really was an honor. Again, thanks for the work that you've done. I know for many of us that the burden seems to be somewhat debilitating. Right. And certainly this feels like a moment in history, as I've said on a number of occasions, that wants to keep us under. Right. Underresourced, underinsured, underrepresented, underemployed, undereducated with respect to equity in schools. Underappreciated for sure.

35:01 - 35:27

And as it relates to dealing with crises like this and those pre-existing conditions, you know, I just want to encourage everyone just to remain diligent, recognize that no matter where you are in your life cycle, I think everyone can find one thing to really focus on, to help kind of bring us through not just this crisis, but certainly back to some footing where we can continue to advance.

35:27 - 35:40

Lastly, I do want to give you both an opportunity to share the research with our listeners. So if you could reiterate the research report and how individuals can get their hands on it, I think that would be great.

35:40 - 36:05

Sure. The particular piece that we're referencing is called COVID-19: Investing in Black Lives and Livelihoods. You can type that into Google with McKinsey and it'll pop up pretty high in the search bar. We also have a number of other reports you can find on our public sector website as well on similar topics that we published over the last six or seven months. Great. Thanks, Shelley.

36:05 - 36:40

Thanks, Aria. I certainly look forward to to our next conversation. The next few episodes of Changing the Trajectory will focus on economic development and wealth creation for Black communities, starting with another conversation with my guests, Aria and Shelley, leveraging more McKinsey & Company's research focused on equity, financial inclusion, and closing the wealth gap. Guys, this has been great. Look forward to our follow-up conversation, and I'm so happy you are able to share your research with the listeners. Thank you very much. Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you.

36:40 - 37:12

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James Thompson
Senior National Director—Diverse and Multicultural Wealth Segments

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