Philadelphia Rises to Champion Racial Wealth Equity with the CityStart Initiative

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — In an ambitious thrust towards economic equality, the City of Philadelphia has joined a pioneering initiative aimed at fostering racial wealth equity. Teamed up with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), Philadelphia is part of the CityStart initiative. The goal is clear: empower communities and families to become financially stable.

The CityStart initiative prides itself on working hand in hand with local authorities in developing and applying proven strategies for financial stability. The Greenwood Initiative, birthed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is a key advisor on the CityStart program’s development and execution, carrying a particular focus on wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families.

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker is standing at the helm of this monumental journey, committing to bridge the economic chasm by investing in workforce development and creating alternative career paths. The mayor is determined that local workers benefit from “big bet” initiatives and asserted the importance of quality jobs – ones offering good wages, benefits, and potential for economic mobility.

The CityStart program, backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies Greenwood Initiative, will boost Philadelphia’s financial empowerment work based on feedback from those affected by racial disparities. This collaboration aims to design an actionable financial empowerment blueprint, ensuring the city’s diverse population can thrive financially.

Philadelphia will receive an intensive technical aid engagement partnership and a $75,000 planning grant through the CityStart initiative. With the support of the Greenwood Initiative, the CFE Fund will ally with Philadelphia to create an innovative blueprint, tailor-made for the community to encourage generational financial stability, particularly for Black residents.

Alongside Philadelphia, other cities selected to participate in the CityStart initiative include Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and Little Rock, AR.

Local leaders across these cities will benefit from the cohort structure of this initiative, allowing shared learning through idea exchanges, data collection, and sharing information on local policies, programs, and strategies to tackle widespread challenges.

With the shadow of racial wealth inequity looming large over the global economy, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative will equip local leaders with necessary tools and data, enabling them to identify needs within their local economies and devise plans to support Black residents in their financial journey and the creation of intergenerational wealth.

Cincinnati, OH and South Bend, IN are previous CityStart participants who have introduced progressive policy changes that prioritize Black wealth building, leveraging public and private partnerships. Philadelphia is now part of the sixth CityStart cohort, with this round focusing specifically on racial wealth equity.

To date, forty localities have taken part in the CityStart financial empowerment blueprint process, with the initiative leveraging insights from over a decade of CFE Fund’s work in over 100 cities and counties. It crafts measurable strategies to improve residents’ financial well-being in an effort to bolster the nation’s financial stability efforts.

The City of Philadelphia is well positioned on this journey towards financial prosperity and racial wealth equity. With the aid of the CityStart initiative, it hopes to make significant strides towards financial empowerment and racial wealth equity, creating a landscape where every resident can establish economic stability and thrive.

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