In the May issue of EBONY magazine, the publication partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to release the State of the Black Family Survey. In the study, a national sample of 1,005 African-American respondents identified job loss and financial insecurity as the number one issue confronting Black families. The survey polled African-Americans on their views on the economy, education, relationships, race relations, health care, employment, finances and media trends.
The findings from the study revealed the following:
· 84% of respondents says racial discrimination still pervades American society
· 74% think society isn’t doing enough to support young men and boys of color.
· Almost two-thirds of respondents say they are better off financially than they were five years ago, but 82% are concerned that Whites still make more than Blacks for doing the same jobs.
· 52% see the media portrayal of African-Americans as generally negative.
· 60% of respondents agree we are making progress in providing access to health care.
· 50%, however, feel that we are losing ground in reducing the gap between rich and poor.
· Almost 1/3 are concerned that their children are not getting a quality education.
· 44% of survey respondents said they know someone that has been killed or committed suicide
· 30% said “improving the creating more jobs/good paying jobs” as a top issue of concern.
La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, noted that poll respondents expressed concerns about the impact of racial bias and the income inequality gap that is prevalent within the African American community, as well as other demographics in American society. “We have a lot of work to do in creating jobs and making sure that people of color receive the training and education needed to obtain those jobs,” she said. “We believe the lack of employment is really critical and impacts a child’s well-being and limits opportunities.”
She added that a recent study, ”The Business Case for Racial Equity,” by the Altarum Institute with funding from WKKF underscores the potential benefits to business, government and the economy if racial inequities are addressed. “Discriminatory policies and disparities in housing, education, health and crime and justice are outlined and we estimate substantial economic benefits of racial equality, including an increase of almost $2 trillion in minority purchasing power and millions of job opportunities for college graduates.”
Montgomery Tabron said that President Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative is bringing government, the private sector and non-profits together to address the obstacles faced by boys and young men of color. She said the initiative exemplifies the type of public-private partnerships needed to improve life outcomes for communities of color. “By directly engaging the business sector to promote racial equity,” she said, “we will create a healthier, better educated and more diverse workforce, help close the minority earnings gap, and provide an overall boost to the economy.”
Amy Barnett, editor-in-chief of EBONY magazine, said, “For more than 70 years, EBONY magazine has been at the forefront of delivering important news that impacts the African-American community, and we are proud to have had the opportunity to partner with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to release these results.”
“As the curator of the African-American experience – past, present and future, it is important to shed light on these topics in order to address them properly.”
Readers can read the remaining results in the May issue of EBONY magazine, on newsstands now. Part two of the survey is scheduled for release in the June issue of the magazine.