News / Economy

Urban League Study Focuses on Plight of African-Americans

National Urban League President Marc Morial addresses a town hall meeting in Washington, where his organization released its annual report on the State of Black America, April 1, 2011
National Urban League President Marc Morial addresses a town hall meeting in Washington, where his organization released its annual report on the State of Black America, April 1, 2011

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +
Chris Simkins

A new report by the National Urban League, a leading U.S. civil rights organization, says African-Americans still lag far behind whites when it comes to finding jobs, getting adequate healthcare and being enrolled in college. The annual study, which examines the lives of blacks in the United States, also suggests they are faring worse than whites as the nation emerges from one of the worst economic downturns in decades.

As the U.S. economy struggles to rebound from a long recession, some analysts say the recovery is not being felt in the African-American community. That's why one civil rights organization says it is "declaring a war" on black unemployment with a plan to spur job creation.

"Every war needs a battle plan, and our battle plan is the National Urban League's 12-point jobs plan; jobs rebuild America, putting urban America back to work," said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.

At a town hall meeting in Washington, his organization released its annual report on the State of Black America. It paints a bleak picture for urban and minority communities entangled in economic uncertainty. The study measures the relative status between blacks and whites, based on five areas - economics, education, health, social justice and participation in civic activities.

Valerie Rawlston Wilson, of the Urban League Policy Institute, worked on the report. "There are major areas of inequality in this country between black Americans and white Americans. The areas where we see the greatest disparities, of course, are in economics. That includes things like unemployment."

The U.S. jobless rate for whites is falling. The latest U.S. Labor Department figures put it at 7.9 percent. But the same report says the unemployment rate for blacks rose in March to 15.5 percent. The unemployment rate for black teenagers is 50 percent - more than double the national average. Morial is calling on President Barack Obama and lawmakers to fund targeted job creation programs in more than 400 communities.

"We need a focused strategy on those communities where unemployment is higher, where poverty is higher. The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill. That means, the higher the unemployment rate, the bigger dose of medicine needed to get beyond unemployment and get back to economic growth," said Morial.

The Urban League says another major factor in the economic gap between black and white Americans is the lack of college degrees among many blacks. The report says college enrollment among African-American high school graduates continues to fall, with black students less likely to enroll compared to whites.

Chatman Young, a accounting student at Howard University in Washington, has landed a job at a bank after he graduates. He said without a good education, it will be difficult for young African-Americans to find a good job.

"Because of the lack of jobs we do have, it is going to be very competitive to land a job, and if you don't have the necessary requirements to get even the minimum salary, it is actually going to be very difficult for you to be successful," said Young.

The National Urban League report makes several recommendations to Congress, including providing funding for a summer youth jobs program and creating 100 urban job training schools - to prepare young African-Americans for careers in areas such as technology and healthcare.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.