On December 11, 2021, my wife and I were married at our home parish, surrounded by the prayers of the community that raised us. After the big day, we eagerly shifted our focus to the next chapter in front of us: starting our household. We kicked off the New Year with a blank canvas, ready to create our version of a Holy Family.
My wife and I are first generation Americans and college graduates. Thanks to the incredible sacrifices of our parents, and several strokes of good fortune, we suddenly found ourselves in the position to do what our families could not: build wealth. As we combined our budgets and dreamt about our future, it was not lost on us that the price of the solid foundation we were building was paid for by a previous generation. We were grateful and, in many ways, we were lucky.
In our country, the reality for many families, particularly Black and Brown ones, is that building generational wealth is an increasingly fleeting reality. This is not by accident. Racist policies such as subminimum wages, red-lined neighborhoods and under-resourced schools are a few of the historical sins that have sapped the ability of marginalized families to stay afloat and get ahead. In fact, as of 2019, the median wealth of White families was about five times that of Latino families, and about eight times that of Black families.
This type of inequality doesn’t just hurt our country, it hurts the broader Body of Christ by undercutting the efforts of families to provide economic stability for their descendants. Crafting a society rooted in equity will require patient and faithful work from many generations. But while the obstacles may be daunting, we can be sure, hoping against hope like Abraham, that our seeds will one day bear fruit.
- How have you benefited from the efforts of previous generations?
- How have you seen systemic inequality manifested in your community?
- To which dreams for future generations do you hope to contribute?
Colin is the Grassroots Outreach & Education Coordinator at NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice working to empower young people through faith-based advocacy resources and opportunities. He serves on the steering committee for IFTJ and taught classes at Georgetown University’s Capitol Applied Learning Lab. During free time, Colin leads trivia night at his local pub and explores post-Christian thoughts at Erēmos Journal.