Community safety is foundational to The MOGUL Initiative’s work; while developing our mission, we considered how our efforts to combat the other core systemic issues—access to capital, education inequality, and economic inequality—would help make minority communities safer. Our analysis found that by eliminating the root cause of crime and violence—poverty—we could effectively reach our goal of achieving, or at least moving closer to, community safety.
How Lack of Access To Capital Affects Community Safety
Because community safety is primarily an economic issue, giving minority business leaders access to capital can help jumpstart economic development in minority communities by creating minority-held jobs, circulation dollars throughout the community, and opening a path to developing generational wealth. Unemployment, as well as barriers to socio-economic upward mobility, may correlate to increased crime and decreased safety in minority communities—access to capital, and the opportunities associated with capital investment, can help mitigate these crime-producing factors.
How Economic Inequality Affects Community Safety
Economic inequality, like the lack of access to capital, leads to increased poverty. A study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that “neighborhoods with higher poverty rates tend to have higher rates of violent crime” and that “greater overall income inequality within a neighborhood is associated with higher rates of crime, especially violent crime.” Other studies have found that people living under the federal poverty threshold have more than double the rates of violent victimization compared to individuals in high-income households; poverty also increases the rate of firearm violence. By providing access to funding for minority entrepreneurs, scholarships for minority students, and economic education for minority community members, we can combat poverty and thus increase community safety.
How Racial Disparities In Education Affects Community Safety
While many minority students face crushing student loan debt after they graduate, some minority students aren’t given the opportunity to pursue higher education opportunities at all. Most public officials, academics, teachers, and parents believe that a college education is one of the most successful methods of preventing crime and increasing community safety. Disparities in educational opportunities, on the other hand, lead to lower earning potential, higher unemployment rates, and higher rates of poverty. And poverty, as we know, is the single greatest factor contributing to violent crime in all communities, regardless of who lives there.