Sunday, September 30, 2018

Michigan, Harvard partner to solve poverty in Detroit

This is fantastic news for my hometown, Detroit. and Harvard University have formed new partnerships to bring actionable change through research and community engagement. With Harvard's new president, Lawrence Bacow, a native Michigander, supporting the effort, this project will bring immense opportunities for researchers to study and propose effective interventions that help the residents of Detroit.

From the alumni magazine, Michigan Today:

The University of Michigan and Harvard University are forming two new partnerships designed to spur economic mobility and reduce poverty in Detroit, as well as combine resources and expertise in response to the national opioid crisis.

The Equality of Opportunity Project — led by Harvard faculty members Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren and Brown University’s John Friedman — will work with U-M’s Poverty Solutions initiative, led by Luke Shaefer, U-M faculty member and Poverty Solutions director.

The universities will collaborate with the city of Detroit and local partners on an action plan to identify promising, results-based interventions for improving the livelihoods of low-income Detroit residents.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

AP study: Blacks largely left out among high-paying jobs

The black unemployment rate is still problematic fifty years after both the release of the Kerner Commission Report and Martin Luther King's assassination. In one of his final speeches, King described the “Other America,” where unemployment and underemployment created a “fatigue of despair” for African-Americans. Today, this "Other America" has extended into the highest paid occupations, notably in the STEM fields, in cities ranging from a history of racial discord (Boston) to high cost-of-living (Silicon Valley).
An Associated Press analysis of government data has found that black workers are chronically underrepresented compared with whites in high-salary jobs in technology, business, life sciences, and architecture and engineering, among other areas. Instead, many black workers find jobs in low-wage, less-prestigious fields where they’re overrepresented, such as food service or preparation, building maintenance and office work, the AP analysis found.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

HuffPost: Millenial Generation Faces Scariest Financial Insecurity

Greetings. I know that I have not maintained this blog frequently but I still exist! I wanted to share an interesting by Michael HObbes on the financial insecurity of the millennial generation in the Huffington Post. I agree with the premise of the article that millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression. by Michael HObbes, who claims himself among the older side of millenials at the age of 35, debunks common myths and stereotypes associated with this generation as entitled an lazy.

But the reality is that most young adults under 40 struggle with financial insecurity that their parents and grandparents never encountered in their lifetimes. This population of 70+ million is Saddled with staggering student loan debt, high cost of living (where half your monthly earnings goes to housing expenses), marrying at a later age, and less likely to own a home. We grew up during a time when wages became stagnated, looked for affordability and convenience in the shared economy. The vast majority cannot depend on their parents; almost 20% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 lives in poverty. Hobbes writes:
What is different about us as individuals compared to previous generations is minor. What is different about the world around us is profound. Salaries have stagnated and entire sectors have cratered. At the same time, the cost of every prerequisite of a secure existence—education, housing and health care—has inflated into the stratosphere. From job security to the social safety net, all the structures that insulate us from ruin are eroding. And the opportunities leading to a middle-class life—the ones that boomers lucked into—are being lifted out of our reach. Add it all up and it’s no surprise that we’re the first generation in modern history to end up poorer than our parents.
In many ways, we graduated from college during a recession that caused the housing bubble and wages have stagnated while the cost of essentials such as housing and healthcare have increased exponentially. Our retirement savings look grim because many work in the low-wage service economy that does not offer retirement benefits. We also look to the shared economy for affordability and convenience. The lost decade for the millennial generation will have long-term implications for the future of the middle class in American society if nothing is done to reverse this trend of financial insecurity.

Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ Black Women March and Black Women's Equal Pay Day

On July 19, 2017, organizers gathered for the "Ain't I a Woman?" Black Women's March in Sacramento, CA. The name comes from a famous speech by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). She will debut on the new $10 bill with other leading women suffragists--Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Other prominent African American women heroes who will appear on U.S. currency include Marian Anderson ($5 bill) and Harriet Tubman ($20).

More than 1,500 people gathered on Saturday to participate in a black women’s rights march in Sacramento. he march was organized by Black Women United (BWU), a non-profit organization “dedicated to the education, protection, and advancement of Black women.” BWU, founded in February, came up with the “Ain’t I A Woman” march as a way to include black women more in today’s women’s rights movement. Although the Black Women's Roundtable were among the guest speakers at the January Women's March, many black women felt the event minimized black women's issues. The event was intended to uplift and empower black women while highlighting the multitude of issues affecting them. Organizers created the event to fill a void they felt was left by the Women’s March in January.

Unfortunately, this perception is not uncommon. The mainstream women's movement tends to focus on issues affecting white women--essentially ignoring black women's unique needs and lived experiences. Gender issues often overlook racial disparities that affect black women. The National Domestic Workers Alliance recently released a report, The Status of Black Women in the United States, which stated from its website:
Black women are integral to the well-being of their families, their communities and the nation as a whole. Through their work, entrepreneurship, caregiving, political participation, and more, Black women are creating opportunities for themselves, their loved ones, and improving the our economy and society. They have all the makings of what should be success, yet their contributions are undervalued and under compensated. Black domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because of the ways in which racial disparities, gender discrimination, and immigration status serve to further marginalize and disempower the very people who power our economy and push our democracy to be the best that it can be. Whether one examines Black women’s access to healthcare, earnings, or access to much needed social supports like childcare and eldercare, Black women are getting the short end of the stick, despite having contributed so much to the building of this nation.
In 1619, the first African Americans arrived in the United States on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia. Nearly 400 years later, African Americans have made substantial contributions that have shaped this nation culturally, economically, and politically. Most importantly, black women have been a very resilient and spiritual group in times of crises and setbacks. However, federal and state policymakers have undervalued and ignored the unique experiences of black women who are impacted by the double oppression of racism and sexism. Our efforts have been undervalued and underappreciated for too long. It is time for black women to bring to the forefront the barriers they face in child care and eldercare, education, employment, entrepreneurship, health care, housing, and retirement.

July 31st is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Many Americans do not realize that the pay gap is even worse for black women. This pivotal event the day when black women catch to men in earnings - a staggering 20 months! According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), when black women earn 63 cents to every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earns. In 2017, the Economic Policy Institute recently updated the statistic to 67 cents on the dollar. Learn more information about the gender pay gap in the United States and how you can join the upcoming Twitter campaign at AAUW.