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The Vida Agency
A black family portrait in front of a house.

Generational Wealth Research & Engagement

Government Change Management

How does a city support its BIPOC communities to narrow the racial wealth gap? It takes innovation, and innovation starts with an honest assessment of where you are. Then, develop a data-based method for figuring out what is working, now and in the future. Partner with community all along the way for ideas and insight, and then let the ideas flow! Finally, make sure the City knows how to carry innovations forward across all of its programs. TVA was part of a larger team, including Headwater People and People’s Economy Lab, that conducted this landscape study.

Client

Approach

What even is “Generational Wealth”? From the beginning, we found that it meant something different to everyone. So we gathered local community and organization leaders to create a clear definition and to think through what it means for a program to truly be a “Generational Wealth” program. Participants also helped us determine what questions would be most impactful to ask during our research and what metrics the City should track.

text graphic with the headline, how wealth is build. Followed by a list that reads, family wealth, family income, family savings, community context.

Research

Between June and September 2022, we conducted 27 interviews across 15 City departments. Using what we learned from community, we created an interview guide and research questions that allowed us to standardize cross-departmental information but also be flexible in conversations.

Outcomes

We wound up with a deep understanding of how wealth-building programs work, their challenges and achievements, and the obstacles and benefits program participants experience. Based on our criteria co-created with community, the City of Seattle can now confidently say it is investing in 23 BIPOC generational wealth programs across 8 departments. More importantly, Seattle is now equipped to approach this effort in new and more effective ways. TVA is continuing this work in 2023, co-creating a system for both the City and CBOs to track impact and shift their strategies based on community needs.