Employee Ownership for Black Workers: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap - CLEO Skip to main content


This study looks at the potential of employee ownership transitioning Black workers from employees to cooperative owners in their place of work as one possible route to asset building that has growing interest. Low inheritance of assets leads to poverty as a driver of the racial wealth gap. With a focus on the nexus of low income and even lower wealth, the importance of transitioning employees into ownership in their places of work comes into focus—creating employment resilience and conserving assets benefiting both the owners and the workers. Two undeniable facts make employee ownership a viable solution: The wealth gap in America, and Atlanta in particular, is widening; and even steady employment is failing to make a difference because of low wages.