Senator Elizabeth Warren Has A Plan to Close the Wealth Gap for Women of Color

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a plan as part of her presidential campaign to close the wage gap for women of color and give them a path to leadership positions.

Warren’s plan, which was unveiled in a Medium post on July 5, proposed that if she is elected into office, she would issue a set of executive actions called the Equal Opportunity Executive Order to increase wages for women of color.

“For decades, the government has helped perpetuate the systemic discrimination that has denied women of color equal opportunities,” Warren’s noted. “It’s time for the government to try to right those wrongs — and boost our economy in the process.”

One of the proposed executive actions would deny federal contracts to companies that do not promote diversity or equal pay. The order would also ensure that companies give a $15 wage with benefits to all of their employees.

“Companies with federal contracts employ roughly a quarter of the US workforce. By imposing new rules on companies that hope to receive federal contracts, we can take a big step towards creating equal opportunities for Black, Latina, Native American, Asian and other women of color,” Warren argued.

Warren states that her plan will also make sure workplaces are diversified by ensuring that historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving learning institutions are given real resources for entry-level jobs. She also wants to provide these schools with funds to create paid fellowship programs for low-income applicants, including minorities and people who were formerly incarcerated.

“It’s time to build an America that recognizes the role that women of color play in their families and in the economy, that fairly values their work, and that delivers equal opportunity for everyone,” the Senator stated.

This is not the first time Warren has discussed closing the racial wealth gap for people of color. In April, Warren unveiled a higher education plan that would help fund HBCUs, eliminate the student loan debt, and create free public college for all.

Warren’s plan would eliminate 95 percent of some student loan debt for the nearly 45 million Americans struggling with debt. Her plan would also cancel the student loan debt for 75 percent of people.

“An economic analysis from leading experts on student loan debt finds that my plan would provide at least some debt cancellation for 95 percent of people with student loan debt (and complete and total student debt cancellation for more than 75%), provide targeted cancellation for the families that need it most, substantially increase Black and Latinx wealth, and help close the racial wealth gap,” her plan read.

The senator noted that 95 percent of Black students took out student loans while attending a for-profit college, and that 75 percent of those students “who did not complete their program at a for-profit college defaulted” on those loans.

“Many for-profit colleges have built a business model around sucking down taxpayer dollars while delivering a poor education primarily to students of color,” Warren pointed out.

Warren’s plan would eliminate $50,000 in debt for indebted individuals in a household income that is making less than $100,000.

“We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system — free and accessible to all Americans — they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families. The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment,” Warren said.

In the same week, Democratic presidential hopeful and California senator Kamala Harris unveiled a $100 billion plan to eliminate the racial homeownership gap. Harris’ plan would use the grant “to provide down-payment and closing-cost assistance to four million homebuyers who rent or live in historically red-lined communities,” her website notes.

Harris’s plan would also aim to stop discrimination for home buyers and renters by strengthening anti-discrimination laws. The presidential hopeful announced her plan during the Essence Festival in New Orleans in a speech on July 6.

“So we must right the wrong and — after generations of discrimination — give black families a real shot at homeownership — historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth," Harris said in her speech, according to CNN.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.