As a woman of color, it is hard to talk about money without talking about race. During the month of February, the Yo Quiero Dinero platform wants to encourage open conversation about why none of us should talk money without talking race and power. Let’s start with how to be anti-racist with your money.
But thinking about creating change can be a little overwhelming. What kind of change, the scale of the change, how long change can take…
When tackling this question, the Yo Quiero Dinero Podcast thinks through our spheres of impact. Think of these as different tiers: the Self, your family, your interpersonal community, your larger community, systems. As we approach the question of how to be anti-racist with your money, we want to approach it through a lens of spheres of impact.
Here are five different ways you can be anti-racist with your money, through different spheres of impact:
Your first sphere of impact is always yourself. Before we try to change our surroundings, let’s first make sure that we are practicing what we preach.
Invest in your anti-racist education
Spend some time, money, and energy into understanding the issues you want to be speaking out against. With a world of information now at your fingertips, there are zero excuses to put pressure on the Black folks in your life to educate you. So dig into some resources to educate yourself and start doing some reading. If the best investment you can make is in yourself, an even better investment you can make is in ensuring you are being anti-racist in all facets of your life.
After your family. the next sphere of impact is your community.
Support small Black-owned businesses
Instead of opting for what’s easiest or what you’re used to, do a little extra research to shop small and shop Black. COVID-19 has impacted Black small businesses at a disproportionate rate: nearly half of all Black-owned small businesses have been wiped out, as of August 2020.
Do your part with your wallet by putting your money back into the hands of Black business owners. Find a massive director of Black-owned businesses at the Black Wall Street directory. And if you’re looking for Black-owned eateries, check out the guide, Eat Okra
Support the campaigns of racially progressive candidates
Over the last five years, more people have bought into the mentality of our vote not mattering. But this is a misconception. Our vote, now more than ever, matter tremendously. We typically only think of the general election when it comes to voting, aka voting for president and vice-president. But the elections that can impact us most directly and immediately are our local elections and midterm elections. In episode 33, we talk to Amanda Miguel on all things voting and why it matters for your dinero.
When it comes to how you can be anti-racist with your money and voting, you can put your money into local campaigns of candidates running on platforms around defunding the police, community investment, or economic justice for Black and brown communities.
This is the sphere that can be the hardest to approach; not because it’s impossible, but because the fruition of your efforts can take years. And will need many people.
Divest from racist businesses
With much of the world’s companies now having a social media presence, tracking them and staying up to date on developments has never been easier. As we think about where we place our money in our day-to-day, taking an extra step to see whether our shop of choice has engaged in any racist practices is necessary. As a start, here is a list of publicly traded companies that Black-owned investment firm, Robasciotti & Philipson, excludes from their portfolios, as they do not pass their racial justice screening on the basis of things like private prisons, money bail, surveillance, immigrant detention, and occupied territories. Here is a resource to check if your portfolio is invested in the prison industry, which disproportionately targets Black communities.
When buying at the local level, you will need to do a few Google searches to confirm. Look up the name of your local chain on social media, check what conversations are happening on Twitter around the chain, etc.
Invest in businesses that engage in racial justice
The obvious alternative to divesting from racist businesses is to invest in those that are seeking to do something about it.
While ethical investing can sound like an oxymoron, a level of it can be possible. This article on ethical investing provides a great step-by-step on how to approach the question of ethical investing. If you are in the market, you have a level of responsibility to shape it into what you think it should be.
Putting your money where your beliefs are isn’t supposed to be easy. But the change it can create is worth it.