A first step to racial equality? “Fundamentally improve job quality.”
MCKINSEY GLOBAL INSTITUTE – JP Julien was nine-years-old when he learned that place matters.
Now an associate partner, JP co-leads our Institute for Black Economic Mobility and led the research for The economic state of Black America: What it is and what it could be. In 1998, he and his Trinidadian American family of six moved from a low-income town in New Jersey to nearby Bloomfield. The 15 miles in between made a world of difference to his life.
Twenty percent of his first town’s residents lived below the poverty line at the time. The grocery store was a 20-minute drive away, and there were few nearby parks or playgrounds. “My mom took two buses to commute to work in New York City every day—sometimes 90 minutes one way,” he recalls.
Several years later, the family moved to Bloomfield, NJ, about a 20-minute drive away on the Garden State Parkway. “I remember the first day we moved in,” he says. “We had our own backyard, a bank on the corner, a diner a block away. My mom’s commuter train stop was a five-minute walk. My parents let me ride my bike throughout the neighborhood.”
“In third grade,” he adds, “I realized for the first time how important place was in shaping opportunity and your life. And so this research resonated with me on a very personal level.” more>