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5 End-of-Year Questions for Garnesha Ezediaro on Accelerating the Pace of Black Wealth Accumulation in the U.S.

From launching the Black Wealth Data Center to funding scholarship accounts through NYC Kids RISE, the Greenwood Initiative team has accomplished a lot in 2022. To reflect on their successes, discuss what inspires their work, and how they’ll carve a path forward in 2023, we welcome Garnesha Ezediaro, who leads the Greenwood Initiative team. 

The Greenwood Initiative is a bold philanthropic effort that seeks to accelerate the pace of wealth accumulation for Black individuals and families in the U.S. and address systemic underinvestment in Black communities.

Garnesha Ezediaro

1: What accomplishments from 2022 are you most proud of?

This year we’ve been continually excited about finding opportunities to advance racial wealth equity and partnering both internally and externally to make meaningful change. From conceiving, developing, and launching the Black Wealth Data Center and its Racial Wealth Equity Database to investing in a wealth building strategy for children and families in New York City through our partnership with NYC Kids RISE, I think the Greenwood Initiative has had a busy and successful 2022.

2: Who or what inspired or influenced your work this past year? 

I am a new mom and seeing my son grow continues to fuel me in new and interesting ways. As I look at him, I can’t help but think of all of the people across the country who have a vision for the well-being of their families only to have that limited by the racism that plagues our country. Our work is co-inspired by members of the Greenwood team, our partners, and what we are learning each day through both real stories and data.

3: What are you looking forward to in 2023?

The Greenwood Initiative has three priorities: To strengthen Black families’ opportunities to own assets and to reduce debt, to network with leaders to prioritize and accelerate racial wealth equity agendas, and to drive the equitable transfer of Black wealth across generations.

I’m most excited that our team will be investing across all three focuses in 2023 which gives us an opportunity to deepen our commitment to accelerating intergenerational wealth while interrupting the systemic extraction of wealth from Black communities. 

4: What are some trends or challenges you believe we’ll see in the year ahead? 

As the next presidential U.S. election cycle begins, it is inevitable that we will see movements like racial equity and racial wealth equity incorporated into the agendas of many candidates. My hope is that the rhetoric is supported by the introduction of policies and practices that highlight the dynamic work that is already happening in communities across the country. 

5: What is a piece of media or culture you experienced this past year that you would recommend our readers check out in 2023?

One of the most powerful podcasts that I listened to this year was an episode on Simon Sinek’s A Bit of Optimism called Partnering with Jean Oelwang. I would recommend that anyone who is part of a partnership, which is arguably everyone, listen to the podcast. I was incredibly inspired professionally and personally by this new framing for how to build deep connections. Sinek introduced the idea of hyper-connectedness as an opportunity for scaling big change and for personal fulfillment.