Chris Grant's insightful 'Redlining Black Businesses' talk was presented at LOWkeynotes at the Stanford Graduate School of Business -- providing students "the opportunity to develop and showcase presentations on ideas that engage us with thoughtful conversation in order to better the world."
Chris Grant is a MBA '19 alumni and shares his experience of supporting local businesses in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, describing a failed attempt at helping a daycare in his community get access to a bank loan. The speaker goes on to discuss institutional and systematic racism in America, along with its ongoing impact on Black businesses and communities.
Grant shares that "according to a Baltimore economic development group, Black entrepreneurs are denied small business loans up to three times more often than white entrepreneurs," and recounts America's long history of redlining that was prevalent from the 1930s and on. While redlining may seem like a thing of the past, the speaker stresses that it's an ongoing reality today, explaining how it limits Black entrepreneurs from accessing government funding, loans, investments and services.
He concludes his talk by explaining that though certain programs look to combat the effects of redlining, ongoing systematic racism means that discrimination continues to impact Black communities. He also suggests that real change can only come once we collectively begin to question our ideals and perceptions on "race, class and the American dream."