Facebook Twitter RSS

ENEWS: Economic disparities, community development & more

Date Published: 06/24/2021

Author: Erin Wilson

New Federal Reserve Bank tool 

new tool from the Federal Reserve Bank shows how much money state economies would gain if race and gender gaps were to close. The estimates are based on data from 2005-2019 and represent “how much gross domestic product (GDP) would have increased each year by eliminating racial and gender gaps in earnings, hours worked, educational attainment, and employment.” A Federal Reserve working paper from earlier this year estimated that race and gender disparities cost the country $2.6 trillion GDP in 2019. For Minnesota, the tool estimates that the state would have gained $32 billion annually from 2005-2019 if race and gender gaps were closed. You can view a breakdown of these numbers by scrolling down the page after entering ‘Minnesota’ into the tool’s dropdown box. 

Annual Community Development Society Conference 

The Community Development Society’s 52nd Annual International Conference will take place virtually from July 12-15. This year it is titled “Global challenges, local resilience.” The conference will feature five keynote speakers who will “address the global challenges of climate change, labor, and immigration as well as the overarching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for racial justice,” the event description reads. For students and retirees, the conference is free, but otherwise costs $50 for admission. To learn more and register, click here. You must register by July 9. Below is a Speaker Highlight provided by the organizers. 

“SPEAKER HIGHLIGHT!!! Ecologist, Climate Change Scientist and Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Jessica Hellmann will be speaking about climate change at this year's 2021 CDS Virtual Conference. This is just a sneak peek into what’s bound to be an engaging and enlightening discussion about confronting the climate crisis in our neighbourhoods, cities, and around the world at this.”

June special session updates

As the deadline of July 1 approaches in just one week, Minnesota lawmakers pushed forward on the state budget this week in the June special session. If legislators do not finalize the budget before July 1, the government will partially shut down. Agreements on many budget bills seem to be working out, according to AP, including progress on agriculture, higher education and K-12 education. Notably, the Legislature moved the environment budget forward— previously, Republicans had demanded Governor Walz must pause efforts to transition to electric vehicles, which put funding for state parks, the Department of Natural Resources, and many other programs at risk. They have since abandoned that demand. One of the most significant remaining conflicts is the public safety budget and police accountability measures. You can read more about the Legislature’s progress and conflicts in the Pioneer Press.

Aspen Ideas Festival 

This year’s digital Aspen Ideas Festival presented by the Aspen Institute is from June 27 - July 1. The theme is “American Futures,” exploring the “future of democracy, identity, education, the search for meaning, our own mental health, and more.” There is an extensive lineup of speakers, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute Lonnie Bunch, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeg, and more. For the full schedule, more information, and registration, click here.


“Community development practitioners, investors, researchers, and policymakers all have a role in examining the factors that constrain people from being successful in the labor force. These factors include discrimination in hiring, workplace culture and policies, and lack of supports for families with children such as child care. At the same time, we can all focus on creating equitable neighborhood conditions that enable opportunities, health, and well-being for individuals and families.” — Federal Reserve Bank tool

Support Our Work