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Posted on: July 24, 2020

Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Black Equity

Mineola, NY-Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman joined a distinguished panel of leaders for a roundtable discussion on racial equity gaps. Due to social distancing practices, the event was livestreamed via Zoom and broadcast on Facebook Live. There are currently3,000 views on the livestream.

The panel was co-moderated by Lawrence Levy, the Executive Dean of Suburban Studies and Vice President of Economic Development and Professional Studies at Hofstra University, and Cassandra Porter, a racial equity trainer and Founder and CEO of Favorite Part of My Day, LLC. The discussion touched upon issues ranging from homeownership to education gaps, included panelists from a wide array of sectors:

  • Assemblywoman Taylor Darling-18th District, Member of the New York State Assembly Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus;
  • Elaine Gross-President and Founder of ERASE Racism;
  • Dr. Lorna Lewis-Past President, New York Council of School Superintendents and Member of the NAACP Education Committee, incoming superintendent for the Malverne Union Free School District;
  • Kimberly Malone-Dean of Academic Advisement at Berkeley College, Member of the Baldwin Civic Association;
  • Theresa Sanders-President and CEO of the Urban League of Long Island.

“We all know that while Long Island has a place in history as America’s first suburb, it also has a troubled history of systemic inequality,” said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. “Recent events have forced us to address long-standing problems and show undeniable proof that inequalities have led to equity gaps. I am grateful to have hosted this distinguished panel for a forward thinking and productive conversation focused on shedding further light not just on these challenges, but on how we can best address them together.”

Comptroller Schnirman also announced the release of an Equity GapToolkit focused on specific actions that can be taken to close equity gaps. The toolkit includes 6 specific steps that can be taken to close the homeownership and educational achievement/student debt gaps. The toolkit is available for all to see at opennassau.nassaucountyny.gov.

"From our perspective in releasing this report, if we’re going to say as a region that Black Lives Matter, then we need to put those values into action and address these gaps,” concluded Schnirman. “In addition to ensuring a more just society, closing these gaps could have a clear economic benefit. Proactive solutions will ensure that we can not only keep the next generation here on Long Island, but that the next generation will build a stronger community through consciousness of these concerns.”

In February, the Comptroller’s Office released an updated report on Black Economic Equity that highlighted several findings, including the stunning figure by Policy Link and Urban League of Long Island that in one year alone, Long Island’s economy could have been nearly $24 billion stronger if racial gaps in income did not exist.

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