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9 Projects Awarded MetLife Foundation-Lender Center Racial Wealth Gap Grants

March 13, 2024

SU News

Leonard Lopoo headshot

Leonard M. Lopoo

Hannah Patnaik headshot

Hannah Patnaik

Robert A. Rubinstein

Robert A. Rubinstein

The Lender Center for Social Justice has awarded nine grants for new faculty research projects that study issues contributing to or helping alleviate the racial wealth gap in the United States.

The awards are funded by a 2022 MetLife Foundation grant that supports research and community programming over three years to examine the racial wealth gap’s root causes and ideas that may resolve its economic and social inequalities, says Kendall Phillips, Lender Center interim director. The awards are part of the Lender Center for Social Justice initiative led by the Office of Strategic Initiatives.

The racial wealth gap is an ongoing issue that undermines potential economic and social progress and opportunities for members of underserved and underrepresented communities, according to Kira Reed, Lender Center senior research associate and associate professor in the Whitman School of Management.

“These research projects are noteworthy because of their unique courses of inquiry, their highly inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional nature and their close engagements with Syracuse community members and organizations,” says Phillips.

Two projects involve Maxwell School faculty and staff:

“Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap Through Increasing Decennial Census Self-Response Rates in Marginalized Communities”

This project will test mechanisms to try to increase self-response rates for the 2030 federal census in undercounted communities in New York State. Successful efforts could offset census undercounts that might otherwise reduce federal funding for education, health care, housing, infrastructure and other vital services.

Leonard Lopoo, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, principal investigator

Hannah Patnaik, Maxwell X Lab

“Does Military Service Mitigate the U.S. Racial Wealth Gap? Overlooked Pathways for Underrepresented Minorities in Public Service”

This project explores how military service intersects with racial wealth disparities. Researchers will look at military service as a means of economic advancement and a way to overcome social barriers that may hinder underrepresented minorities who are pursuing post-service career advancement and entrepreneurship.

Corri Zoli, College of Arts and Sciences, and Arielle Newman, Whitman School, principal investigators

Linda R. Euto, D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay, Newhouse School of Public Communications

Robert A. Rubinstein, Maxwell School

Rosalinda Vasquez Maury, IVMF

Mauricio Mercado, Lender Center for Social Justice

Ashley Gomez, University of Pittsburgh

Read the full article via the SU News website.

By Diane Stirling

Communications and Media Relations Office
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