At 180 Degrees, part of our strategic plan to address equity is to monitor where we spend our money and how we purchase our goods and services. We recently installed a new air conditioning unit at Clifton Place and used a Black-owned business. We are looking at replacing our carpeting at our 1301 building in St. Paul and have contacted a Black-owned installer for a quote. While these things may seem small, they are important steps to 180 Degrees and the economy of supporting the community.
According to USA Today, Black Americans hold just 2.6% of the nations wealth while constituting 13% of the population (Brookings Institute). White average wealth, which is heavily influenced by the ultra rich, is $800,000 higher than the average Black wealth. Kevin Cohee, CEO of OneUnited Bank and one of only 21 Black-owned banks in the US, implores us to use our power — spending, voting, and vocal — to demand criminal justice reform and to address income inequality through economics.
We all have choices to make about where to spend our money and who to support with our purchasing power — who will you choose?
For over thirty years, CEO Dan Pfarr has been on the front lines of the human services community, working to lift-up youth, adults, and families in crisis. His focus on trauma-informed care helps shape the direction of 180 Degrees and inspire a team of nearly one hundred employees. As a multi-cultural organization with staff and clients who have suffered a life of prejudice and inequality, 180 Degrees continues prioritizing discussion and action against a system of racial injustice.