(Courtesy of Inland Empire Community Foundation)

 New report released by Mapping Black California in partnership with IECF presents a profile of the issues impacting the Inland Empire’s Black Community 

In recognition of MLK Day, a new report titled “Black Equity Fund Report,” commissioned by the IE Black Equity Fund at Inland Empire Community Foundation and released by Mapping Black California, underscores the Inland Empire’s status as the region with California’s third largest and fastest growing Black population behind only Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Funding for the BEI Data Report was made possible by generous support from Southern California Edison. 

The BEI Data Report shows an in-depth look at the socioeconomic landscape and conditions affecting the over 350,000 Black residents of the Inland Empire. 

“This report provides data-driven insights that reveal how anti-Black racism continues to profoundly shape life outcomes and opportunities for Black IE residents today,” said Candice Mays, leader of Mapping Black California. “We hope it serves to expand awareness and galvanize collaborative efforts to build a more just, equitable and inclusive future for the region.” 

The report also highlights the incredible resilience of the IE’s Black residents: 

  • • Civic participation remains high, with a 71.1% Black voter turnout rate in the 2020 presidential election. 
  • Black-led grassroots organizations and institutions have played pivotal roles in fostering community identity, mobilizing resources, and advocating for change. 

“For decades, Black residents have shown incredible resilience and determination to drive positive change in the Inland Empire, even in the face of complex challenges,” said Dina Walker, co-founder of the Black Equity Fund and CEO of BLU Educational Foundation. “This report underscores the urgency of continuing that fight, while charting a course toward greater equity and empowerment for the Black community.” 

While the region’s Black population has seen steady growth over the past 30 years, the community continues to grapple with disparities in critical areas like health, education, employment, and housing. 

  • • Black mothers in the Inland Empire face maternal mortality rates over three times higher than other groups. 
  • • While graduation rates have improved over the past decade, Black high school students today are still more likely to be chronically absent, suspended, or not attend college compared to other groups. 
  • • In the Inland Empire, a majority of Black residents (54.7%) are renters, while only 45.3% own homes, revealing a stark disparity compared to White residents (71.8% homeowners, 28.2% renters). 

The report notes that crafting solutions demands not just acknowledging this complex legacy, but charting a collaborative way forward. “To truly address these challenges requires recognizing the legacy of past policies, understanding the current landscape, and proactively intervening going forward,” the report urges. “This involves collaborative efforts from grassroots and community leaders, policymakers, businesses, and residents.” 

“This report underscores the urgency of continuing the fight for greater empowerment and opportunities that match the strength, contributions and potential of the Inland Empire’s Black community,” said Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher of Black Voice News, founder of Mapping Black California and immediate past chair of the IECF board. 

“When it comes to providing financial resources to our Black-led and serving organizations, the stark disparities revealed by the data cannot be overlooked,” said Michelle Decker, President and CEO of the Inland Empire Community Foundation. “To tackle these disparities, we will continue raising dollars with the support of our donors who want to see a region that works for everyone.” 

To read the BEI Data Report in full, visit: https://beidatareport.com/ 

To learn more about the IE Black Equity Fund, visit: iegives.org/ieblackequityfund or view the video here. 

Founded in 1941, the Inland Empire Community Foundation is the oldest and largest community foundation in Inland Southern California. We partner with individuals, families and corporations to build a culture of philanthropy. Since inception, we have given out over $159 million in grants and scholarships. For more information visit the IECF’s website at www.iegives.org. Be a part of our conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.