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[400 Foundation]
Rev. Reginald Bachus: “It is shameful that after 400 years Black people’s unemployment rate is still double that of White New Yorkers...Black businesses only receive about 1-2% of statewide contract spending.
Photo: Anne Wilhelm

Black faith leaders from New York are asking state legislators to address the "400 years of economic, racial, and political injustice in Black communities across New York State."

Yesterday, the 400 Foundation, a faith-based coalition of pastors and clergy members from communities across New York, held an event with faith leaders from across Brooklyn, New York to promote the need to improve the political and economic well-being of New Yorkers of color by advancing sensible and progressive legislation during the 2020 state legislative session.

The event was held at Brown Memorial Baptist Church.

As we push past the 400th anniversary of Slavery in North America as an economic system, and after 400 years of economic, racial, and political injustice in Black communities across New York State, the 400 Foundation looked to blaze a trail of prosperity for the underserved Black communities of Brooklyn, New York. The event outlined a clear policy and legislative vision for promoting economic equity, job growth, and Black businesses for the historically underserved Black communities and individuals in Brooklyn.

It is shameful that after 400 years Black people’s unemployment rate is still double that of White New Yorkers– and although we make up almost 16% of the New York State population our black businesses only receive about 1-2% of statewide contract spending” said Rev. Reginald Bachus, President of the 400 Foundation. “This was about charting a new course to strengthen our communities in Brooklyn for generations to come by attacking the roots of inequity and expanding access to good jobs and workforce training for black and brown members of Brooklyn’s workforce. New Yorkers must lead the way toward economic justice by using the 2020 State Legislative Session to address the greatest crises still facing Black communities.”

  • The event promoted the legislative priorities and demands of faith leaders across New York State, which include:
  • The need to invest $100M to create acceleration centers and networks for underserved Black communities.
  • The need to conduct a study on current and proposed legislation that will affect Black communities and the accelerator networks.

The need to commission a study on rebuilding underserved Black communities through economic acceleration centers and networks.


The 400 Foundation was birthed in February 2019 as a historical response to the 400th Anniversary of Slavery in North America and a biblical response to the Exodus liberation story after 400 years of oppression. The plan was to learn from and embrace African Americans’ 400 years of experience in North America. Second, mobilize the community’s growing outcry for change. Third, channel that energy to move our communities FORWARD in 2020.

The leadership team is made up of decades of religious leadership; Harvard, Yale, Historically Black Institutions, doctoral and legal degrees; executive level real estate and political resumes; extensive business development; and consultant experience. The list of supporting leaders represents over 400 houses of worship throughout the State of New York.

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