The National Urban League held a press conference last week to release its all-important annual State of Black America® report with a compilation of statistics that show good news and bad news related to the standing of Black and Hispanic households across the nation. The annual report details the progress made and calls for implementing sweeping and decisive solutions to the nation’s persistent social and economic disparities.
The 2016 edition, “Locked Out: Education, Jobs and Justice” includes a 40-year retrospective. According to the most recent estimates, the national black poverty rate is now 2.4 percentage points lower than in 1976 (down to 27 percent from 29.4 percent). Please read the Executive Summary or visit soba.iamempowered.com for more information on the report.
Highlights of Greater Atlanta’s Standing in the Report
The report shows that Atlanta ranked 36th (out of 70 metro areas surveyed) in unemployment equality and 15th in income equality. While metro Atlanta improved 2 percentage points over last year’s standing in income equality, we remain unchanged in our ranking at 36 percent for unemployment equality with our white counterparts. Far too many Black and Hispanic households continue to live with deep income disparities and incomes at and below the poverty level in the Atlanta region and throughout the nation. Further, Blacks rank far behind our White counterparts in education, wealth and health as well. The report makes it clear that much more work must be done to improve the economic, education and health status and access for Black and Hispanic Americans. The Urban League of Greater Atlanta stands committed to expand our work and impact to more substantially improve the standing of Blacks and we need your partnership – as donors, volunteers and partners to make a more dramatic impact in the future.
NUL President Marc Morial unveiled what he is calling the Main Street Marshall Plan: From Poverty to Shared Prosperity. It calls for a $1 trillion investment over five years, and will focus on early education, youth development, workforce training and small business development. Investing in our people is an economic model that will yield unprecedented returns from which we will all benefit.
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta’s Urban Youth Empowerment Program that supports unemployed and out of school “at promise” youth ages 16 – 24 was featured during Morial’s press conference via a CNN video showcasing our youth development and reentry work as an example of the impact of the Urban League movement. The ULGA video can be seen at http://www.cnn.com/videos/living/2016/03/23/prison-to-prosperity-valencia-pkg.cnn.
It is clear that our workforce, youth development and reentry programs have contributed to Atlanta’s marginally improved ranking. Yet, it is equally clear that an unacceptable number of youth, adults and families in the region remain locked out of the enhanced educational attainment, occupational skills training, and living and sustainable wage employment they need.
At ULGA, we are committed to stay the course to accelerate progress. But to succeed, we need your help and partnership to extend our reach to thousands more men, women and youth who are seeking opportunities to enhance their skills and gain access to economic opportunity.
Click here to make a donation now. Thank you for joining us in our mission to empower communities throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.