MetLife Foundation-Lender Center Annual Social Differences, Social Justice Symposium

Syracuse University | March 30-31, 2023

“Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap”

MetLife Foundation, in partnership with Syracuse University Lender Center for Social Justice, and in collaboration with Syracuse University faculty in the Social Differences, Social Justice Research Cluster will be hosting its inaugural MetLife Foundation-Lender Center Symposium on March 30-31 at Syracuse University.

The racial wealth gap is a continuous issue that undermines progress and opportunities that can be pursued by members of underserved and underrepresented communities in the United States. This symposium seeks to share research projects and exchange ideas among faculty, graduate students, and leaders across the academy, industry, and government on how to understand and respond to this crisis.

View symposium schedule

The MetLife Foundation-Lender Center Inaugural Symposium invited proposals from across the academy that help address the racial wealth gap. Faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and doctoral students were invited to participate, and collaborative and/or interdisciplinary projects were encouraged. Proposals could be based on humanistic, theoretical, empirical, case study, or applied research that addresses any of the following three tracks:

  1. Structural and systemic factors positively or negatively impacting the building of generational wealth [e.g., slavery, settler colonialism, and historic legacies of racialized violence, racial capitalism, mass incarceration, inheritance laws, etc.]
  2. Policies and practices that generate or minimize racial wealth disparities [e.g., redlining, urban renewal schemes, tax policy, predatory financing, healthcare burdens, racially disparate housing appraisals, etc.]
  3. Individual and organizational-level factors influencing educational attainment, skills acquisition, and career development [e.g., educational inequities, hiring queues, corporate programs, etc.]

Within each track, projects were invited that:

  1. identify and capture factors leading to or minimizing the racial wealth gap
  2. capture the long-term impacts of the racial wealth gap
  3. offer solutions to minimizing the racial wealth gap that are data driven and evidence-based
  4. present arts- or humanities-based research as an alternative means of evidencing data and documenting narratives conveying either lived experiences of the racial wealth gap, or promising solutions.

Proposals that consider women, the disabled, and other historically marginalized groups were especially encouraged.

Authors of selected submissions were notified of acceptance in February.