Rewrite the Racial Rules: Building an Inclusive American Economy

By Andrea Flynn, Dorian Warren, Felicia Wong, Susan Holmberg |


Rewriting the Racial Rules: Building an Inclusive American Economy argues that, in order to understand racial and economic inequality among black Americans, we must acknowledge the racial rules that undergird our economy and society. Those rules—laws, policies, institutions, regulations, and normative practices—are the driving force behind the patently unequal life chances and opportunities for too many individuals.

In this report, Andrea Flynn, Dorian Warren, Felicia Wong, and Susan Holmberg examine the racial rules across six different dimensions: income, wealth, education, criminal justice, health, and democratic participation. Ultimately, we show why the rules structuring our economy matter for the well-being of black Americans. And, against the backdrop of stark racial economic inequality dating back centuries, we make the case for pushing past both explicit and implicit exclusions, as well as ostensible race-neutrality.

Andrea Flynn is a Roosevelt Fellow who researches and writes about issues that impact women and families. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Cosmopolitan, Salon, The Hill, and Women’s eNews. You can follow Andrea on Twitter @dreaflynn.

Dorian T. Warren is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, an MSNBC Contributor, and Board Chair of the Center for Community Change. He is the Host and Executive Producer of “Nerding Out” on MSNBC’s digital platform,

Felicia Wong is Roosevelt's President and CEO, seeking to reimagine the social and economic policies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt for the 21st century.

Susan Holmberg is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.