Degrees of segregation. Inspired by the six degrees of separation, this phrase brings attention to the context surrounding the Ones who made it. Net worth, a measure of wealth, conveys what families can leverage to make their dreams a reality. And, it indicates on what they can draw when times get hard. Changes in net worth over time show that we Ones who made it from families of color are making steady progress, but consistently have had about a tenth of the resources white families have to achieve similar life goals.

Wealth over time

Median net worth  1984 1996 2007 2016
Black families $3,397 $7,135 $19,200 $17,600
Hispanic families $4,913 $6,961 $23,600 $20,700
White families $39,135 $75,482 $192,500 $171,000

(Sources: Pew Research Center, U.S. GovernmentWashington Post)

These figures make you wonder. What’s it going to take to end this pattern? We’ve bided our time, counted our blessings, rolled with the punches, took for the team, and the gap remains pretty much the same. We’ve had decades of affirmative actions, diversity training, housing assistance, mentorship programs, and protests, but the trend doesn’t change. What will it take to increase the number of Ones who made it and sustain that number for decades to come? I think we can all do something. And while we continue to figure out what to do, I’m moved to meditate.