African-Americans are slightly worse off than a year ago, according the National Urban League’s 2011 Equality Index. First introduced in 2005, the index compares how well Blacks and whites are doing in a broad range of economic and social areas as part of the organization’s annual State of Black America report. In 2010, NUL started including Hispanic data in the report.
Black America’s 2011 Equality Index is 71.5 percent, 0.6 percent down from 2010’s index of 72.1 percent, which NUL attributes to a one-percentage point decline in the economics index and a two-percentage point decline in the health index. The equality index for economics is 57.9 percent, social justice is 57.8 percent, health is 76.7 percent, education is 78.3 percent, and civic engagement is 102.2 percent. (Related reading: NUL's Employment Plan.)
“The Great Recession has battered, bruised and pummeled the nation, even more so when it comes to our nation’s African-American and urban communities,” said NUL president and CEO Marc H. Morial Thursday morning (March 31) when the report was released during a town hall event at Howard University. “While some economists have declared that the recession is technically over, we say there is no complete recovery while the unemployment rate in Black America stands at more than 15 percent.”
The organization has developed a 12-point jobs plan to rebuild America that includes developing a national public-private jobs initiative to create new jobs and train urban workers for broadband, health care, manufacturing, infrastructure and clean energy jobs. It also would create green empowerment zones and expand small business lending.
Morial criticized House Republicans for their attempts to make budget cuts in areas that he said would disproportionately impact African-Americans, such as education, job training and community development that “are just plain mean-spirited, nonsensical and reckless.” He also suggested that GOP lawmakers care more about politics than they do about people.
(Photo : PictureGroup)