In the Red: the US Failure to Deliver on a Promise of Racial Equality
May 5, 2021 | 11:30am - 1:00pm EDT

The United States Chapter of the Sustainable Solutions Network (SDSN USA) cordially invites you to the launch of a new index, In the Red: the US Failure to Deliver on a Promise of Racial Equality, on May 5th from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EDT. 

This project is one of the first known attempts to use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assess unequal racial delivery of sustainability in the U.S. and endeavors to measure how well U.S. states are delivering sustainability across different racial and ethnic groups. The findings illuminate critical gaps in delivery across a range of outcomes, including life expectancy, childhood poverty, incarceration rates, pollution, and more. 

The project measures sustainability broadly across social, environmental, and economic lenses, using the framework of the SDGs to assess inequality, and building upon the work done in a recent SDSN USA project, Never More Urgent, which outlines the policies and practices that contributed to the gaps highlighted by In the Red. By linking racial inequality to the SDGs, the index hopes to encourage international accountability on racial inequality and clarifies how the U.S. can respond to the UN’s Leave No One Behind Agenda, which maintains that those who have been least served by development progress must be those first addressed through the SDGs. By revealing these disparities and highlighting the numerous critical gaps in availability of racially disaggregated data in official, publicly-available U.S. sources, SDSN USA hopes to bring policy makers, researchers, and community leaders to the table in order to collaborate to address the inequalities in how states deliver the SDGs.

During the launch event, we will share the project findings and methodology and present an interactive data dashboard with SDSN USA network members, partners, and other stakeholders dedicated to equitable measurement and delivery of sustainable development in the United States. Additionally, we will host a panel discussion on the recommendations and implications of this work, and to provide context for the findings, moderated by SDSN USA co-chair and Howard University Professor, Dr. Helen Bond. Panelists will include:
  • Judith Aidoo-Saltus, CEO of Caswell Capital Partners, LLC
  • Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink
  • Gerald Torres, Professor of Environmental Justice and Professor of Law at Yale
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