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Season 1 | Season 2

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Click transcript to read the trailer transcript.

ReShonda Young is trying to do something nobody in the country has managed in more than 20 years. Open a new Black-owned bank.

In the second season of The Heist, we follow her quest to confront the enormous wealth gap between Black and white Americans with tools of the banking system that has helped perpetuate it. And we tell the story of that gap, a centuries-long heist pulled off through virulent discrimination.

Here’s the thing: To open a bank, you need to raise a lot of money. And if you’re aiming for majority Black ownership, the wealth gap will fight back every step of the way.

Episode 1

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Iowa resident ReShonda Young stands outside a church property in Waterloo that she’s hoping to purchase to turn into a bank. (Brenna Norman for the Center for Public Integrity)

Fighting the wealth vortex
An Iowa entrepreneur determined to help narrow the wealth gap sets off to open the first Black-owned bank in more than 20 years. No part of that is easy.


Episode 2

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(Getty Images)

Small business lending looks unequal. Getting the data has been a battle.
For decades, the U.S. has required lenders to report how they handle loan applications for mortgages but not for small businesses. That’s poised to change.


Episode 3

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Sharman Chambers discusses poetry with students at the 1619 Freedom School in Waterloo, Iowa. (Brenna Norman for the Center for Public Integrity)

Inside the effort to make this city a better place for its Black residents
The 1619 Freedom School is one of several resident-driven projects in Waterloo, Iowa. It launched at a challenging time — or possibly just the right one.


Episode 4

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ReShonda Young looks at the restrictive covenant placed on homes in her neighborhood, including hers, that prevented Black residents from moving in. (Jamie Smith Hopkins / Center for Public Integrity)

The racist history that helps explain our present wealth gap
We wanted to see how discrimination shaped one city. Here’s how you can get answers about your own community.


Episode 5

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(Getty images)

How can we close our racial wealth gap? 
We asked experts, including people working on equity in their communities. This is what they said.

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Season 2 Credits

  • Host/reporter: Jamie Smith Hopkins
  • Producers: Camille Petersen and Mitchell Johnson
  • Associate Producer: Isabel Carter
  • Executive producer: Gretta Cohn
  • Managing producer: Wilson Sayre
  • Editors: Sara Nics, Shoshi Shmuluvitz, Jennifer LaFleur and Matt DeRienzo
  • Contributing Editor: Jordan Bailey
  • Mix engineer: Rick Kwan
  • Design and audience engagement: Lisa Yanick Litwiller, Janeen Jones, Ashley Clarke, Alex Eichenstein and Kimberly Cataudella
  • Fact checking: Peter Newbatt Smith
  • Drone footage: Rotor Visual
  • Photography: Brenna Norman
  • Interactive graphics: Sophie Austin

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