Use the ABCs of Equity

Educational Equity
Economic Equity
SER Equity
We look forward to fresh starts and new possibilities to build and repair policies that will keep our families safe, healthy, and able to create generational wealth in light of COVID-19. The ABCs of Equity make the economic case for equity clear: When ALICE prospers, Arkansas prospers.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) asks that you use this research for data-based advocacy and policymaking to support the growing needs of our essential workers and their families. The studies were commissioned by WRF and our partners, Winrock International, Entergy Arkansas, and United Way. The headlines of this research affirm the inequitable reality that:

  • Nearly one out of two households—46 percent of all Arkansans—are working overtime and are still unable to afford basic survival necessities. Our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population is too big to ignore and too overworked and underpaid to shame.
  • If all Arkansas households earned AT LEAST the ALICE survival budget, total earnings would be $8.4 billion higher, a 12 percent increase ($6.9 Billion in consumer spending, a $2.2 billion net gain for state budget).
  • While entrepreneurship is a pathway to economic growth, over the last five years Black-owned and Latinx-owned businesses received less than two percent of the $1 billion SBA loan dollars awarded in Arkansas.

The pandemic has made it clear that we can no longer separate “the economy” from issues that have life-or-death consequences. Securing Arkansas’s future means securing the future for ALICE. ALICE Arkansans are our hardest working residents, yet they are trapped by growing inequities in education, health, and wealth-building opportunities. Solutions exist, and we know we can implement them together.

These inequities cost us more than we can afford, but they do not have to remain our reality. Arkansas has a choice. Together, we have the opportunity to put meaningful and long-lasting solutions in place. We either create a stable economy full of opportunity for the future or continue to allow our economy to swallow the livelihoods of nearly half of our workforce.

It is past time to #StandUpforALICE and make hard work, work for all. Review the ABCs of Equity today and begin to reimagine what is possible, and necessary, to create a thriving and prosperous Arkansas that works for all.