Justice, Equity, and Opportunity
June 03, 2020
We have been mourning the loss of over 380,000 people globally, over 100,000 Americans due to the COVID-19 virus, and experiencing the pain, anger, and grief as a result of racist violence against African-Americans. Our nation faces a viral pandemic, which began months ago, and the pandemic of systemic and institutional racism, which is embedded in our country’s founding.
As impact investors focused on creating opportunities for people and communities that have long been denied them, we often frame our work as creating “systems change” and addressing “structural inequities.” What this means more bluntly is that the systems used to create pathways to a better life with dignity - financial, health, housing, and education - are broken. And that the most underserved and disadvantaged communities are not only overlooked and ignored, but intentionally denied access to these pathways, and even more basic privileges, by design. The wealth gap has grown substantially over the past 35 years and we see that reflected in the suffering from COVID-19 today.
The protests that have erupted across the nation and around the globe and the racial disparity in COVID-19 impacts have shined a spotlight on the need for profound structural change. As Erika Seth Davies of the Beeck Center and the Racial Equity Asset Lab wrote, “When we allow the status quo to remain, when we don’t change what is clearly not working, our economy and social fabric face an even greater risk of failure.”
Calvert Impact Capital is dedicated to creating a financial and economic system that prioritizes the life and worth of people and the delicacy of our planet; systems that use their power to address and eradicate poverty, not deepen it. To do that we know this work must acknowledge and address the disproportionate suffering of communities of color. And we as an organization, as an industry, as a country must be committed to doing more, to doing better and to doing it together.