Jessicah Pierre

Jessicah Pierre is the inequality media specialist at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Articles by this author

As we head deeper into a divisive election season—and as we remember Dr. King—it’s worth remembering that our real enemy is injustice, not each other. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Learning from King’s Last Campaign
As we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., it’s natural to remember his courageous advocacy for racial equity. But before he was assassinated, King had also begun to broaden his efforts to unify the around economic justice. That’s worth remembering today. In December 1967, King, the...
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As wealth continues to concentrate at the top, the extremely wealthy are using it shut out students who are already hundreds of steps behind on the road to success—all to give the already affluent another boost along the way. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Thursday, September 19, 2019
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
Earlier this year, a number of wealthy parents, celebrities, and college prep coaches were accused of offering large bribes to elite universities in order to get their children into schools they didn’t qualify for. Federal prosecutors charged at least 50 people in the criminal investigation named “...
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A slave auction in Richmond, Virginia, 1856. While slavery is often regarded as long-ago history, it was integral to shaping our economy—and its inequality—today. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Thursday, August 22, 2019
400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids
Four hundred years ago this month, the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in Virginia. Slavery is often reduced to a crime of America’s long-ago past. But enslaved labor created the backbone for America’s capitalistic economy, allowing it to grow into — and remain — the world’s leading...
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That divide won’t close without bold, structural reform to match the structural injustices that created it — from slavery itself to Jim Crow, red lining, and mass incarceration. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Celebrating Juneteenth With Bold New Ideas
One day in late June, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas. They carried some historic news: Legal slavery had ended some two and a half years ago with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. And so some of the last enslaved people left in America were freed. The day became known...
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Saturday, June 08, 2019
Racism as a Public Health Crisis
Racism is often viewed as an action performed by individuals. But even if we got rid of all America’s prejudiced individuals, racism would still exist in the systems they built. Systemic racism, writer Jenee Desmond-Harris explains, refers to how racial disparities operate “in major parts of U.S...
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Baby bonds could play an essential role in balancing the historical injustices that created the racial wealth divide. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Thursday, April 18, 2019
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
The gap between America’s ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is growing dramatically as wealth continues to concentrate at the top at the expense of the rest of us. One major symptom of this economic rift is the racial wealth divide, which is greater today than it was nearly four decades ago. The...
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Wealthy and privileged students have always had an upper hand in being accepted to prestigious universities. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The Real College Admissions Scandal
In what’s being called the largest college admissions scam ever, a number of wealthy parents, celebrities, and college prep coaches have been accused of offering large bribes to get rich students into Ivy League schools, regardless of their credentials. The parents facing charges allegedly paid up...
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As much as we cite the vision that MLK laid out for America, decades later we’ve not moved in the right direction. (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
January 15th marked what would’ve been Dr. Martin Luther King’s 90th birthday. Most known for his famous “I Have Dream Speech,” King envisioned a future in which deep racial inequalities — including deep economic inequality — was eradicated. He worked tirelessly towards that mission. Over 50 years...
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018
As Midterm Nears, Trump Returns to an Old Formula: Lies and Hatred
Midterm elections are approaching. The first major election since Trump took office, our current political landscape could shift dramatically depending on the results. If Democrats can take back control of the House of Representatives — or even the Senate — that could have a major effect on Trump’s...
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Thursday, June 21, 2018
Celebrating the End of Slavery—With One Big Asterisk
During the week of June 19, cities around the country mark Juneteenth — the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, this holiday marks the day when Union...
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