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Workshop: Class, Race, and Wealth in the U.S.

Class, Race, and Wealth in the U.S. Workshop


Alternatives Federal Credit Union and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) have come together to offer the workshop, Class, Race, and Wealth in the U.S. This is part of Alternatives and GIAC’s joint efforts to follow up on watching Race: The Power of an Illusion documentary series.

The workshop is free and open to the public, and will be held on Tuesday, May 21, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the GIAC gym on 301 West Court Street. The workshop will be led by Steve Schnapp from United for a Fair Economy (UFE).

This workshop reviews recent trends in the distribution of income and wealth; examines this data through a racial lens; explores the impact of inequality; and offers strategies for moving toward a more equitable economy. By using engaging “human graph” activities, the workshop turns dry statistics into creative and meaningful ideas and demystifies economic concepts and trends. The workshop also critically examines the way in which race shapes the distribution of resources and privilege in the U.S., analyzing the role of government in supporting (for people of European descent) or blocking (for people of color) the accumulation of assets.

Steve Schnapp is a Senior Education Coordinator at United for a Fair Economy (UFE) in Boston. Steve helps design and develop UFE’s popular economics education workshops and materials, and leads workshops and presentations around the country. 

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The Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) is a center for all ages located in the heart of downtown Ithaca and was founded in 1972. GIAC serves our community through multicultural, educational, recreational and social development activities, offered through a variety of programs including its Youth Afterschool Program, a Summer Camp, Conservation Corps, Teen Program, Senior Program, the Chet Cashman Boxing program, and the Alex Haley Municipal Pool. Among other unique qualities, GIAC's values and people-first mission drives its ability to stay contemporary in meeting our local community needs while at the same time serving as a global partner in sustainability and social justice efforts.

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In the spring of 2014, we learned that our minivan needed repairs in excess of it's value. We'd already been cutting back on our auto use, and were trying to walk and bike more. We'd been talking with friends and reading about cargo bikes as a car alternative. Around the same time, a new business, "Boxy Bikes" opened in Ithaca, which specializes in electric and cargo bikes. We found a model we were interested in, and approached alternatives seeking financing. Alternatives set us up with a signature loan, and a "green loan" discount on our rate. Thanks to Alternatives, we are now the happy owners of a "Yuba Mundo" Electric Cargo bike. We can get anywhere we need to go, using no gas, and creating no emissions. I can carry two passengers, or a weeks worth of groceries. The loan will be paid off in two years, and the bike could last for many more, at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.


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