March 19, 2015 (New York, NY) Today, the National Urban League releases its 39th edition of the State of Black America® – “Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice,” which underscores the urgency of each of these areas in America’s quest for full equality. The world watched throughout 2014 as justice was challenged on every front – from the accountability of law enforcement for misconduct and the continual assault on voting rights, to widening economic gaps and partisan education debates more rooted in political agendas than in putting our children first. Simply put, the state of Black America is in crisis, and the State of Black America® report findings provide a sobering, but necessary, look at critical issues that need to be addressed – now.
As the National Urban League continues to press the case for closing growing divides in economic and education opportunity, this year’s State of Black America® presents the 2015 Equality Index™, one of the most critical and respected quantitative tools for tracking racial equality in America – now in its 11th edition for the Black-White Index and its sixth year for the Hispanic-White Index. For the first time, the Equality Index™ includes a special feature on state-level K-12 education, documenting the extent of Black-White and Hispanic-White achievement gaps in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The State Education Equality Index™ also includes supporting data on factors that contribute to narrowing or widening these gaps, including teacher quality, pre-school and course enrollment, and student status and risk factors such as poverty. For the second year, the Equality Index™ also features rankings of U.S. cities from most-to-least equal via the Black-White Index (70 cities) and Hispanic-White Index (72 cities) – again providing a revealing look at local dynamics beneath national trends.
“The 2015 State of Black America® – ‘Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice’ – and its corresponding Equality Index™ findings are a clarion call that a more comprehensive, inclusive and on-the-ground recovery is necessary to ensure a healthy future for our nation and that we cannot expect to successfully move forward when we are leaving so many behind,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “Few times in a nation’s history is its collective conscience shocked and awakened across racial, economic, generational and even ideological lines as ours has been over the past year. We are in that moment, and as long as justice is challenged on any front, we will keep pushing on every front.”
Through thought-provoking articles from Morial and a stellar line-up of contributors, the 2015 State of Black America® offers insightful solutions across critical areas including job creation, transportation, education, city revitalization, criminal justice, entrepreneurship and media images. Contributing authors include: Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; Film/Television Producer Debra Martin Chase; Attorney Benjamin Crump; U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; Gary, IN Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson; NEA President Lily Eskelsen García; Radio One, Inc. President and CEO/TV One Chairman and CEO Alfred Liggins; Sacramento, CA Mayor/U.S. Conference of Mayors President Mayor Kevin Johnson; W.K. Kellogg Foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron; and “The Three Doctors” (Dr. Sampson Davis, Dr. Rameck Hunt and Dr. George Jenkins).
For the first time in its history, the State of Black America® is being presented in an all-digital edition that will offer a multimedia and social experience providing more interaction with readers, enhanced searchability, and year-round updates. The full suite of 2015 State of Black America® offerings includes an e-book, featuring full data sets and analysis for each Equality Index™, full ranking lists, and complete articles; a seven-part Web Series, sponsored by AT&T, that gathers some of the nation’s leading influencers for discussions around the State of Black America® theme, topics and report content; and a new website – www.stateofblackamerica.org – which will serve as the digital hub for visitors to access select data and report findings, the Web Series, press materials, infographics and charts, e-book purchase information, and year-round updates featuring new contributors.