American Indian Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

American Indian girls often fall through the cracks, By Teresa Wiltz, March 4, 2016, Stateline: “They’re poor, more likely to be sexually abused, end up in foster care, drop out of school, become homeless. They’re often the prey of traffickers.  American Indian and Native Alaskan girls are a small fraction of the population, but they are over-represented in the juvenile justice system, whether they are living on or off the reservation. Native American girls have the highest rates of incarceration of any ethnic group. They are nearly five times more likely than white girls to be confined to a juvenile detention facility, according to the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention…”

Racial Achievement Gap and High-Poverty Schools

The concentration of poverty in American schools, By Janie Boschman and Ronald Brownstein, February 29, 2016, The Atlantic: “In almost all major American cities, most African American and Hispanic students attend public schools where a majority of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income, a new analysis of federal data shows. This systemic economic and racial isolation looms as a huge obstacle for efforts to make a quality education available to all American students. Researchers have found that the single-most powerful predictor of racial gaps in educational achievement is the extent to which students attend schools surrounded by other low-income students…”

Black Unemployment

Unemployment may be dropping, but it’s still twice as high for blacks, By Sonari Glinton, February 5, 2016, National Public Radio: “The jobs numbers are in: 150,000 jobs were added to the economy in January. That’s fewer than expected, though the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low.  President Obama took the opportunity this morning to take a shot at some of his more vocal opponents…”

Environmental Hazards and Poor Minority Communities

Beyond Flint: Poor blacks, Latinos endure oversized burden of America’s industrial waste and hazards, By Aaron Morrison, January 25, 2016, International Business Times: “Elizer Lee Cruz will occasionally look out at English Station — the shuttered and corroding coal power plant sitting on an eight-acre island in the middle of Mill River — and marvel at its architecture. From Fair Haven, a neighborhood just east of the river comprising largely minority and working-poor people, Cruz and his neighbors can see the tops of four of the facility’s smokestacks that stopped billowing in 1992. ‘The way the bricks are laid — little blocks of cement with a circle and a lightning bolt — it was a power plant that was built to the glory of God,’ he says, describing what he can see from the riverbanks. But that awe is fleeting for Cruz, an environmental activist who last year fought a plan that would have reopened the plant…”

Young Black Men and Unemployment – Chicago, IL

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school: report, By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, January 25, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “Nearly half of young black men in Chicago are neither in school nor working, a staggering statistic in a bleak new youth unemployment report that shows Chicago to be far worse off than its big-city peers. To 24-year-old Johnathan Allen, that’s no surprise. ‘It’s right there in your face, you don’t need statistics,’ Allen said as he testified before a room full of lawmakers and public officials Monday at an annual hearing about youth unemployment, where the report was presented. He encouraged everyone to walk down the street and witness how joblessness devastates communities…”

Racial Achievement Gap – Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s racial achievement gap widens, By Abigail Becker, December 16, 2015, Appleton Post-Crescent: “When Madison Memorial High School sophomore Demitrius Kigeya solves math problems in his head, other students give him surprised looks. He believes it is because he is black.  ‘I just pay attention in class and do my homework,’ said Kigeya, 15.  Odoi Lassey, 16, a junior, echoed Kigeya’s feelings. ‘People don’t expect you to know anything,’ explained Lassey, who, like Kigeya, is a high academic performer, plays on the high school soccer team and is active in Memorial’s Black Student Union. ‘It’s almost as if you know something, they think you’re weird or you’re acting white … some people think you’re not black just because you try to help yourself out and do well in school.’  The negative stereotype that follows students such as Kigeya and Lassey is rooted in Wisconsin’s dismal racial academic achievement record…”

Achievement Gap

  • Achievement gap in D.C. starts in infancy, report shows, By Michael Alison Chandler, December 10, 2015, Washington Post: “The District is a national leader in providing universal access to preschool for 4- and 5-year olds, an investment designed to improve school readiness and narrow a a rich-poor achievement gap that is apparent by kindergarten.  But, according to a new report produced by Child Trends and commissioned by the Bainum Family Foundation, the achievement gap starts much earlier — in infancy — and the city isn’t prepared to deal with it…”
  • Black students struggling more in Michigan than other states, according to report, By Jonathan Oosting, December 10, 2015, MLive.com: “African-American students are further behind their peers in Michigan than in most other states, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  African American students are disproportionally impacted by shortcomings in the national education system, according to the report, which points to ongoing struggles to improve outcomes for minority students and close achievement gaps…”
  • Minority students make gains, but achievement gap remains, By Mary Niederberger, December 10, 2015, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “While there has been some improvement in academic achievement among African-American students since the early 1990s, overall performance levels remain critically low nationally, and Pennsylvania’s results fall below national averages. That information was contained in the report ‘The Path Forward: Improving Opportunities For African-American Students,’ released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the NAACP…”

Income of Hispanic Families

More Latino kids In low-income but more financially stable households, By Suzanne Gamboa, December 8, 2015, NBC News: “Although they are more likely to be poor than other children, Hispanic children in low-income households have had more economically stable homes.  But the Great Recession took some toll on the earnings in these low-income families, as well as children in higher-income earning households, according to ‘Child Trends’ reports from the National Research Center for Hispanic Children and Families…”

Home Loan Discrimination

‘Redlining’ home loan discrimination re-emerges as a concern for regulators, By Rachel L. Swarns, October 30, 2015, New York Times: “The green welcome sign hangs in the front door of the downtown branch ofHudson City Savings Bank, New Jersey’s largest savings bank. But for years, federal regulators said, its executives did what they could to keep certain customers out.  They steered clear of black and Hispanic neighborhoods as they opened branches across New York and Connecticut, federal officials said. They focused on marketing mortgages in predominantly white sections of suburban New Jersey and Long Island, not here or in Bridgeport, Conn.  The results were stark. In 2014, Hudson approved 1,886 mortgages in the market that includes New Jersey and sections of New York and Connecticut, federal mortgage data show. Only 25 of those loans went to black borrowers…”

Racial Disparity in Debt Collection

The color of debt: How collection suits squeeze black neighborhoods, By Paul Kiel and Annie Waldman, October 8, 2015, ProPublica: “On a recent Saturday afternoon, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city’s first black mayor. On the screen was a list of every debt collection lawsuit against a resident of her city, at least 4,500 in just five years. Henderson asked to see her own street. On her block of 16 modest ranch-style homes, lawsuits had been filed against the occupants of eight. ‘That’s my neighbor across the street,’ she said, pointing to one line on the screen…”

Hispanic Rural Poverty

Hispanic poverty in rural areas challenges states, By Teresa Wiltz, August 14, 2015, Stateline: “Today, one in four babies born in the U.S. is Hispanic. Increasingly they are being born into immigrant families who’ve bypassed the cities—the traditional pathway for immigrants—for rural America. Hispanic babies born in rural enclaves are more likely to be impoverished than those in the city. And it’s harder for them to receive help from federal and state programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Consistent health care also is hard to come by, particularly if their parents are undocumented and are fearful of being discovered and deported—even though the children are U.S. citizens. As a result, many researchers say, many of these children may never realize their full potential and escape poverty…”

Race and Concentrated Poverty

  • Black poverty differs from white poverty, By Emily Badger, August 12, 2015, Washington Post: “The poverty that poor African Americans experience is often different from the poverty of poor whites. It’s more isolating and concentrated. It extends out the door of a family’s home and occupies the entire neighborhood around it, touching the streets, the schools, the grocery stores. A poor black family, in short, is much more likely than a poor white one to live in a neighborhood where many other families are poor, too, creating what sociologists call the ‘double burden’ of poverty. The difference is stark in most major metropolitan areas, according to recent data analyzed by Rutgers University’s Paul Jargowsky in a new report for the Century Foundation…”
  • Louisville 10th worst for high black poverty areas, By Phillip M. Bailey, August 10, 2015, Louisville Courier-Journal: “As the Metro Council debates ways to encourage affordable housing in the East End, a New York-based think tank released a report showing Louisville is the 10th worst city for concentrated black poverty in the nation. About 43 percent of the poorest black residents in the Louisville metro area are housed in neighborhoods where the federal poverty rate was 40 percent or more, according to the report by the Century Foundation…”
  • Poverty has nearly doubled since 2000 in America, By Max Willens, August 9, 2015, International Business Times: “A year after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, people are talking about a newly galvanized civil-rights movement in the U.S.  A new report, finding that the number of people living in high-poverty areas has almost doubled since 2000, suggests that its rebirth is sorely needed.  According to Century Foundation research, the number of Americans living in high-poverty areas rose to 13.8 million in 2013 from 7.2 million in 2000, with African-Americans and Latinos driving most of the gains. The report points to racially motivated policies such as exclusionary zoning and trends such as white flight as the primary culprits…”

Gender Wage Gap

Latinas’ gender wage gap is worst, study finds, By Katie Johnson, July 29, 2015, Boston Globe: “In Massachusetts, Hispanic women who clean offices and houses for a living make just 54 cents on the dollar compared with what male janitors make. Compared with their Hispanic male counterparts, Latina cleaners make just 59 percent. New research from the University of Massachusetts Boston shows that the already yawning gender wage gap becomes a chasm in lower-income jobs, particularly for Hispanic women…”

Child Poverty by Race

  • For first time, black kids in poverty outnumber white, By Lauren Pankin, July 16, 2015, Detroit Free Press: “The number of black children living in poverty in the U.S. has surpassed the number of poor white children for the first time since U.S. Census has tracked such numbers in 1974, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. Overall, 20% of children in the U.S., or 14.7 million, lived in poverty in 2013 — down from 22%. Of that, black children make up 4.2 million while white children account for 4.1 million…”
  • Black children in U.S. are much more likely to live in poverty, study finds, By Sabrina Tavernise, July 14, 2015, New York Times: “Black children were almost four times as likely as white children to be living in poverty in 2013, a new report has found, the latest evidence that the economic recovery is leaving behind some of the United States’ most vulnerable citizens. The share of American children living in poverty fell to about 20 percent in 2013 from 22 percent in 2010, according to the report by the Pew Research Center, which analyzed data from the United States Census Bureau.

Black Unemployment

Why the improvement in the black unemployment rate will be short-lived, By Chico Harlan, May 13, 2015, Washington Post: “Over the last three months, an eye-opening trend has appeared in the U.S.’s jobs data: African-Americans are making notable gains. During that span, the unemployment rate for whites has held flat at 4.7 percent. But for blacks? It’s fallen from 10.4 percent to 9.6 percent, hitting single digits for the first time in the recovery. Meantime, the gap in labor force participation between blacks and whites has grown narrower than it’s been since September 1999. Since February, the number of blacks with jobs has gone up by 407,000. The number of whites with jobs has declined by 273,000, in part, no doubt, because of a wave of Baby Boomer retirements…”

Literacy Gap

Literacy gap between Latino and white toddlers starts early, study shows, By Teresa Watanabe, April 2, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “Latino toddlers whose language comprehension is roughly similar to white peers at 9 months old fall significantly behind by the time they are 2, according to a study released Thursday.  The UC Berkeley study found that four-fifths of the nation’s Mexican American toddlers lagged three to five months behind whites in preliteracy skills, oral language and familiarity with print materials. Although earlier studies have shown that Latino children are raised with emotional warmth and develop social skills on par with others when they enter kindergarten, the new research found they are not receiving sufficient language and literacy skills at home, said Bruce Fuller, a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy and co-author of the study…”

Racial Disparities in School Discipline – Wisconsin

Wisconsin black suspension rate highest in U.S. for high schools, By Erin Richards, March 1, 2015, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin high schools suspend black students at a greater rate than any other state in the country, according to a new report highlighting racial disparities in discipline and the impact on achievement.  The news doesn’t get much better at the younger grades. The state trailed only Missouri in having the largest disparity in suspension rates between black and white elementary school students in 2011-’12, according to the report.  Among districts nationwide with large numbers of K-8 schools, Milwaukee Public Schools suspended more children than anyone else that year…”

Racial Wealth Gap

  • Whites have 12 times the wealth of blacks, By Tami Luhby, February 18, 2015, CNN Money: “The numbers say it all.  The typical white family had accumulated more than $134,200 in wealth in 2013, while black families scraped together a little more than $11,000 and Hispanic families $13,700, according to a new Urban Institute report.  It’s yet another example of how financial inequality is pervading this country and it’s is only getting worse. Whites now have 12 times the wealth of blacks and nearly 10 times more than Hispanics. But in 1995, the spread was only 7 times for blacks and 6 times for Hispanics…”
  • The corrosive impact of America’s growing wealth gap, By Aimee Picchi, February 18, 2015, CBS News: “The idea that everyone has a chance to get ahead in life is a defining belief of American life. But the more complicated reality is that a family’s wealth has a huge impact on how far people get.  Unfortunately for many Americans, the wealth gap — or the difference between the assets of the poor and the rich — has been growing over the past several decades, making it harder than ever for certain groups to climb the economic ladder. Families near the bottom of the wealth distribution actually ended up in debt in 2013, a backward step from having no wealth in 1963, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Blacks and Hispanics are also falling behind, the think tank said in a report on Wednesday…”
  • The racial wealth gap we hardly talk about: What happens in retirement, By Jonnelle Marte, February 18, 2015, Washington Post: “Much has been said about the racial wealth gap and how the financial crisis widened that disparity, especially as minorities have had a harder time keeping their homes and rebuilding their portfolios.  But there’s another side to those challenges that doesn’t get as much attention — the retirement savings gap.  If minorities are less likely to get an inheritance from a family member than a white person is, or to have wealth to fall back on when they want to buy a house or start a business, they are likely to have less money to save for retirement, too. And if they are saving, the weaker safety net makes it more likely that they’ll have to raid that reserve or take on debt when things go wrong…”

Hispanic Poverty – Nebraska

Poverty rate among Hispanics in Nebraska soars, By Henry J. Cordes, January 5, 2015, Omaha World-Herald: “Maria Benitez’s husband brings home $80 a day from his job painting houses. She supplements that by selling Mexican candies in South Omaha from a cart she pushes down the street. But after paying rent and other bills, there’s often not much money left to feed the couple and their three children. That’s why the 50-year-old Benitez recently stood in a light snow outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church accepting free sack lunches handed out by James Parsons, who runs a street ministry assisting Omaha’s needy…”

Access to Health Care – Wisconsin

State ranks high in health care but low on access for minorities, By Guy Boulton, October 7, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin remains one of the top states in the country for the quality of its health care system and its access to health care. But the state’s strong overall performance masks a long-standing flaw: African-Americans and Latinos are much less likely to receive the same quality of care or have the same access as whites. The disparities can be seen in the annual State Snapshots compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The report is based on more than 100 measures of quality and access to care…”