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Practices & Centers

Center for Racial Economic Equity

Accelerating Black economic advancement.
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Solutions to disrupt occupational segregation and eradicate the Black-white wealth gap.

Occupational segregation and a vast Black-white wealth gap limit opportunities for success and advancement for Black learners and workers. Through research, thought leadership, network building, and advisory services, Jobs for the Future’s Center for Racial Economic Equity works to create a world where race no longer determines outcomes.

We take a solutions-first, data-driven, nonpartisan, and practitioner-informed approach and rely on a trusted network of cross-sector partners committed to  promoting Black economic advancement.

Key Initiatives

Reimagine Education and Training Systems

We conduct research, offer advisory services, and partner across the ecosystem to ensure Black learners are entering and succeeding in high-value programs of study.

Eliminate Workplace Racial Discrimination

In collaboration with major employers, we work with corporations and industries to ensure Black workers are being hired, compensated, and promoted equitably.

Explore Social and Financial Aspects of Advancement

We develop strategies to invest in Black entrepreneurship, explore financial innovations, and identify supports to end the Black-white wealth gap.

News & Ideas

Report/Research

Black Learners in IT Associate’s Degree and Credential College Programs

Associate’s degrees and credentials in information technology (IT) can open up pathways to high-wage careers with opportunities for economic advancement. But Black learners and workers face structural barriers that limit their ability to access and complete IT programs.

October 30, 2023
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Strategic Talent Development for Inclusive Economic Opportunity

How might a community college transform to become the leading source of Black talent in high-wage, high-growth fields in its region? Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are partnering to find out—and to bring what they learn about creating economic opportunity for all learners to community colleges across the country.

September 8, 2023
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Skills-Based Hiring Alone Won’t Advance Racial Equity

As we celebrate Juneteenth, we must remember that advancing racial equity at every level of the career and employment spectrum, not just the middle, requires a comprehensive approach to hiring that includes skills, degrees, and an employer commitment to eliminating bias in talent management practices.

June 21, 2023
Report/Research

The Language of Racial Economic Equity

At Jobs for the Future, we believe that language matters to our mission of driving equitable economic advancement for all. The words we use every day can perpetuate and exacerbate inequality, but they can also educate, empower, and drive positive change. That’s why we’ve been examining our use of language and reevaluating how to describe the people our work centers on. Our latest thinking appears in JFF’s Language Matters Guide.

July 17, 2023
Report/Research

Frontline Possibilities

In today’s economic landscape, it’s crucial for business leaders to understand and address the needs, aspirations, and capabilities of their frontline workers. By doing so, they gain a multitude of benefits that create new career opportunities for their employees and strengthen their organizations’ bottom lines.

June 7, 2023
Report/Research

Professional Social Capital: A Key to Black Economic Advancement

This framework provides a set of recommendations for postsecondary institutions and employers to support Black learners and workers to build professional social capital. It expands on a related JFF market scan that maps the landscape of nonprofit and social enterprise-led social capital initiatives.

February 23, 2023

Impact Stories

JFF and Comcast NBCUniversal Partner to Boost Number and Proportion of Black Tech Workers

New $500,000 initiative will generate insights and develop strategies to increase access and success for Black learners and workers within fast-growing digital and IT careers.

Black Employees Make Up Just 7.4% of the Tech Workforce—These Nonprofits Are Working to Change That

JFF Vice President Michael Collins was quoted in recent article on CNBC’s Make It website that focused on JFF's racial economic equity initiative and specifically reported on the release of our latest market scan, Purpose-Built to Advance Equity: Expanding Opportunities in Tech for Black Americans, which highlights organizations that are working to increase the number of Black Americans in the IT workforce.

Survey Reveals Barriers That Prevent Black Workers From Entering and Advancing in Tech Careers

Jobs for the Future survey finds financial constraints, lack of STEM education, mentorship gap as top barriers for Black Americans in tech

JFF’s Michael Collins in “The Great Resignation Narrative Ignores the Black Experience in America”

In an article published in HR Dive, JFF Vice President Michael Collins discusses the implications of the “Great Resignation”—and a potential recession—for Black workers.

Professional Social Capital is Key to Economic Advancement

JFF calls on all education, training, and workforce development programs to be more intentional about helping Black learners and workers build professional social capital.


Team

Michael Collins

Vice President

Michael Collins is vice president of the Center for Racial Economic Equity at JFF. He leads the development and implementation of JFF’s strategy to influence the practices of educational institutions, workforce organizations, intermediaries, associations, states,…

Christel Perkins

Senior Director

Christel Perkins is a senior director in the Center for Racial Economic Equity at JFF. She leads the center’s strategic plan to enhance the experience of Black learners and workers in education and the workforce…

Andrea Juncos

Director

Andrea Juncos is a director in the Center for Racial Economic Equity at JFF. She leads research and advisory services focused on accelerating economic advancement for Black learners and workers in the United States. Juncos’s…

Learn more

The Center for Racial Economic Equity and our network of expert partners are available for collaboration, advocacy, and investment to create permanent space for Black learners and workers in our postsecondary education and workforce systems. Contact us to learn more about how you can partner with us or support our work, and subscribe for updates.