article via cnbc.com
U.S. policymakers need comprehensive, unbiased research if they are to adequately address America’s racial inequality, Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson told CNBC on Thursday.
Wilson’s call for research follows two years of political unrest that have swept the nation following controversies, such as the fatal police shooting of black motorist Philando Castile in Minnesota and the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
“People have been exposed to multiple and reinforcing hardships — racial hardships and economic hardships,” Wilson told “Squawk Box.”“What we hope to do is to analyze these problems at once.”
Wilson is currently leading “Multidimensional Inequality in the 21st Century: the Project on Race and Cumulative Adversity,” a study of poverty, crime, housing and homelessness funded by a $10 million grant from the Hutchins Family Foundation.
“Our goal is to provide information to policymakers who want to make good decisions,” said Wilson. “If they have the information, we can decide how to attack the problem.”
Glenn Hutchins, chairman of North Island — the investment firm that manages his personal wealth — is also the benefactor of Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.
Hutchins echoed Wilson comments, telling CNBC in the same interview: “We have the opportunity to do non-ideological, evidence-based policy making.”
The study would provide direction amid the country’s tumultuous political climate, said Hutchins, a former Bill Clinton advisor and co-founder of technology investment powerhouse Silver Lake Partners.
Hutchins hopes his family foundation’s grant will ensure that Wilson and his colleagues can “create the type of policies that can pragmatically get at this complex problem.”
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