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Parting Words from Andre Perry, Keynote Speaker at SCG's Policy Conference, Build Anew

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Friends and colleagues,  
It was a pleasure to address you at SCG's 2021 Public Policy Conference, and my sincere thanks go to all involved for making my participation and the event possible. 
I’d also be delighted to connect directly with you to talk further about my work at Brookings. The research on housing devaluation is part of my Valuing Black Assets Initiative (VBAI). VBAI seeks solutions that restore the value that’s been extracted by racism. By centering Black people and their assets in our analysis, we take apart entrenched racist narratives as well as identify policy biases and other structures that throttle economic and social mobility.
There is nothing wrong with Black people that ending racism can’t solve. We haven’t known how much the country can gain through policies that properly value homes and businesses, family structures, voters, school districts, and other assets in Black neighborhoods. And we need to know. Many assets in Black communities are strong, but they are frequently and intentionally devalued. If we can account for the associated costs of racism, using an asset-based frame on individuals, enterprise, and community, then we can begin to properly deploy approaches that restore lost value by investing in the people who have been penalized simply for being Black. 
Just as my session demonstrated, the key to understanding a pathway forward through structural barriers facing the Black community will require metrics that will hold anti-Black policies accountable and create the narrative change that supports exclusionary policy. At this pivotal moment in time, we have an opportunity to repair some damage caused by past policies and replace them with anti-racist ones that encourage inclusion.  
I look forward to talking to you about my efforts.  
Andre Perry 
Senior Fellow 
Brookings Institution 
[email protected] 

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