“Conversations We Are Not Having” is a Black Youth Project series focused on how our economy does and does not work for Black People. We hope to create a space that demystifies this “dismal science” we call economics. We want to engage in a creative and impactful dialogue about the economic futures of black people. To that end we will be enlisting a variety of voices to explain how our economy functions in the 21st century and what policies changes are needed to achieve economic justice in our community.

Our lead writer will be John A. Walton. John worked at the nation’s largest financial institutions specializing in accounting, brokerage, and commercial and investment banking, during a more than 30 year career, which included co-founding and managing one of the largest wholly-owned African American financial service holding companies in the country. Witnessing the financial devastation brought on by the 2008 Global recession firsthand, John brings a unique perspective about how our financial sector perpetrates economic inequality within the Black Community. It is John’s belief that through understanding the financial sector and monetary system, African Americans can chart a path to economic justice.

William “Sandy” Darity is the Samuel Du Bois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. His work in economics seeks to examine the causes and identify solutions to racial and ethnic economic inequality within the United States and the world. Recently he has proposed two bold economic policies as a way of addressing racial economic inequality, a guaranteed job program for all residents of the United States and a baby bonds program for all children born in the United States. Darity is the author of numerous articles and his most recent books are Economics, Economists, and Expectations: Microfoundations to Macroapplications (2004) (co-authored with Warren Young and Robert Leeson) and a volume co-edited with Ashwini Deshpande titled Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (2003) both published by Routledge. He has published or edited 12 books and published more than 210 articles in professional journals.