Meizhu Lui is the Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative, a national effort to close the gap in wealth between people of color and Whites, at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. The Insight Center is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to help people and communities become, and remain, economically secure through innovative employment, early childhood, business development, and asset building programs.
Meizhu describes herself as a “professional troublemaker!” She was a food service worker for fifteen years and a rank and file union activist in AFSCME, becoming the first Asian to be elected President of a local union in Massachusetts. Before moving to the Insight Center, she was the Executive Director of the national non-profit United for a Fair Economy, which helped launch a public conversation about growing economic inequality and the racial wealth gap.
Her ability to educate and engage ordinary people for policy action to eliminate racial and gender inequality has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the YWCA, the Boston Women’s Fund, the Labor Studies Department of the University of Massachusetts, the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and others. She was selected as a Barr Foundation Fellow in 2007. Meizhu served on the Center for American Progress’ National Initiative to End Poverty. She is a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and an affiliated trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Meizhu is a co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the US Racial Wealth Divide. She also co-authored three annual “State of the Dream” reports published by UFE on Martin Luther King Day, which identify racial economic disparities in wealth which explain the persistence of the race gap and suggest policies that would move us towards greater equality. Articles by Meizhu have appeared in the Wealth Inequality Reader (Dollars & Sense, 2004) Inequality Matters (The New Press, 2005), 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Hate Taxes (The New Press, 2007) and in Yes!, Orion, and Social Policy magazines, as well as in Black Commentator, the online news source. She is a popular speaker, and has done many radio interviews. Her op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.