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Mehrsa Baradaran

Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of California-Irvine
Chapter Member: Los Angeles Unified SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Mehrsa

Baradaran's research focuses on banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Baradaran's writings overarching themes include property, race, law and capitalism.  Baradaran has advised U.S. Senators and Congressmen on policy, testified before the U.S. Congress, and spoken at national and international forums like the U.S. Treasury and the World Bank. Volunteer member of Biden Administration's Agency Review Team for the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Guest to discuss Identifying the Reasons for Inequality: Dealing With a Legacy of Exclusion on The Path Forward, Finding Solutions, CNBC, Mehrsa Baradaran, December 5, 2020.
Guest to discuss how discriminatory housing policies, unequal access to credit, and predatory banking continue to hinder attempts at wealth-building, even among the Black middle class on Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America Episode 4: Broken Bootstraps, VOX, Mehrsa Baradaran, October 6, 2020.
Mehrsa Baradaran quoted on companies blaming "the pipeline" as an excuse not to hire people of color perpetuating stereotypes of Black people by Emily Peck, "Wells Fargo Has Some Nerve" Huffpost, September 24, 2020.
Guest to discuss predatory lending practices on Spectacular Failures, Mehrsa Baradaran, September 21, 2020.
Mehrsa Baradaran quoted on issues of equality and myths about the poor by by Gaby Garcia, Alan Gibbons, Astgik Khatchatryan, Barbara McMurray, Grace Murray, Michelle Pagaran, Chelsea Raineri, and Valerie Takahama , "35 Kickass Women in O.C." Orange Coast Magazine, September 10, 2020.

Publications

"Banking on Democracy," UC Irvine School of Law, May 22, 2020.

Describes how the financial system is unequal and exclusionary even as it is supported, funded, and subsidized by public institutions.  Argues this is not just a flaw in the financial sector; it is a foundational problem for democracy. Proposes a new model of financial inclusion, which situates issues of access and inclusion as central to the legal design of the financial system.

The Color of Money Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (Belknap Press, 2019).

Pursues the persistence of this racial wealth gap by focusing on the generators of wealth in the black community: black banks.  Challenges the myth that black communities could ever accumulate wealth in a segregated economy.

How the Other Half Banks, Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2018).

Contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities—all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later.