Black Women in Martin Luther King Jr.’s Neighborhood Will Soon Receive Monthly Cash Payments

A new guaranteed income program will send $850 monthly payments to Black women over two years, beginning in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, where King popularized the idea of direct cash payments half a century ago.

“Oftentimes our communities are viewed as lacking knowledge, lacking resources, lacking assets. We want to flip that narrative. Communities closest to the problem are rich with resources and insight on how to solve our deepest social issues, our deepest economic issues,” said Hope Wollensack, executive director of the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund. “We want to put agency over one’s future in [women’s] hands.” 

Let Me Tell You About My Feminist Economic Agenda

It’s 2022, and we’re finally talking about how to solve the problems that have been plaguing U.S. workers for ages—women of color in particular.

Three policies from 2021 stand out in particular for their outsized positive impact in solving for gender and racial inequities: the child tax credit; Biden’s forgiving of $12 billion in student loan debt; and guaranteed income pilots.

Front and Center: Two Years After Receiving Guaranteed Income, This Family Is Still Feeling the Benefits

Front and Center highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“I was in the very first round of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which started three years ago. So it’s been about two years since I stopped getting the guaranteed income payments, but the program allowed me to do so much that’s still benefiting me now. I was able to move out of subsidized housing and into my own place, I was able to get a more reliable car, I did a little traveling with my kids—it allowed me to be able to provide better for them.”

Build Back Better Is in Peril. Low-income Families Can’t Afford To Lose It

As families hope Democratic leadership will find a different path to pass Build Back Better policies like childcare or paid leave, another revolutionary policy is just beginning to enter mainstream awareness: guaranteed income.

Guaranteed income involves regular payments directed to specific marginalized groups, as a way to address economic inequities caused by systemic racism and sexism. Economic justice organizations like the Magnolia Mother’s Trust argue that a federal guaranteed income program would not just help low-income families pay their bills, but also reduce financial stress and set their families up for long-term success. 

Front and Center: “Being Part of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust Has Lifted a Burden Off My Shoulders as a Mom”

Front and Center highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“Being part of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust has really lifted a burden off my shoulders as a mom. And the Trust on top of the [child tax credit] has been so necessary. One helps me pay my bills; the other helps me put away a little bit for the hard times.”

Investing in Social Infrastructure Provides a Recovery Path for All—But Especially Low-Income Families

Too often, policies that are perceived to be “feminine” or unequally benefiting women are dismissed in favor of more “serious” policies. The two infrastructure bills working their way through Congress are no exception.

In reality, policies like the child tax credit, paid family leave and guaranteed income result in better outcomes for everyone.

Front and Center: Guaranteed Income Helped Me Survive the Pandemic and Find “Moments of Joy,” Says Magnolia Mother’s Trust Mom

Front and Center highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“Aside from just being able to survive and buy toilet paper and pay my bills, [guaranteed income] allowed me to—even at a very hard time—have moments of joy.”