We Can Create Wealth
In 2007, poverty rates among Blacks and Hispanics were 24.5% and 21.5% respectively, while non Hispanic whites trailed at 8.2% according to recent Census Bureau data. Examining statistics on median incomes in 2007 across racial groups, one finds that Black households had the lowest income of $33,916 in comparison with Hispanics at $38, 679, with both lagging behind non Hispanic whites at $54,920. Indeed ethnic minorities experience income disparities. However, parity is a possible and poverty does not have to be an unending cycle. Individuals must have information in order to create wealth in their everyday lives!
SPOTLIGHT ON WAR ON THE WAR
Many politicians and special interest groups are currently advocating for energy policies that have unintended consequences on minorities and the working poor. Policy makers are promoting policies that increase the price of energy and those living on fixed income are disproportionately affected by the rise of energy prices, with significant portions of their monthly income automatically designated for energy necessities. As Americans earmark a lion’s share of their income toward energy needs, their ability to use their income to engage in ventures that will allow their money to begin to make money decreases. In essence, policy makers impede their rights as Americans to pursue economic advancement. Stopwaronthepoor is a movement dedicated to ensuring economic stability for the more vulnerable members of society, such as minorities and the working poor.
While minorities experience higher rates of economic disenfranchisement, there is still capacity to create wealth in our community. Black business leaders have a unique role in revitalizing and restructuring of the entire nation - both urban suburban. It has just been a little over 50 years since the beginning of the modern civil rights movement. Since then, the black middle class has quadrupled in size and great strides have been made in alleviating the sting of poverty for many black families. Yet, lack of home ownership is still one of the most discouraging aspects of poverty in America. Less than 50 percent of black families own their own homes today. Black leadership across the board is coming of age - entering into the mainstream of our society and has the capacity to move not only blacks, but the entire nation into their own unique promised land.
TOGETHER WE CAN REFORM EDUCATION!
In this current moment in our nation’s history education has become increasingly necessary. It has been said that education is a tool with the capacity for altering an individual life chances. Having an education can keep an individual from living an impoverished life. It can also allow one to be the embodiment of a “rags to riches story”. Aristotle said, “…The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” However, the current status of public education in many states leaves many parents and students questioning whether or not policy makers and policy stakeholders understand that the fate of the United States depends on the education of our youth.
Gary Orfield, former Harvard University Professor and present Co-Director of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA, indicated that minorities, and particularly those dwelling in urban areas, are more likely to receive an education inferior to that of their white counterparts residing affluent suburbs. Teachers with fewer than three years of experience often populate the faculty in urban schools. Unfortunately, it is in the first three years of teaching where their learning curve is quite steep. Most classroom instructors begin offering quality instruction after three years of experience.
SPOTLIGHT ON NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
While the opportunity structure in the U.S. education system functions so that students of color have more difficulty excelling, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 [1.8 MB] is a federal initiative, drafted as an acknowledgement of and solution to the educational disparities that exist in the United States. NCLB mandates that states hold teachers requires that teachers be highly qualified in their content areas and that students be held accountable for their learning. States such as New York, Massachusetts, and Florida administer assessments that functions as a gate keepers for graduation. Students are required to pass their assessment with proficiency, in order to receive a diploma. Such tools of accountability can bolster students’ investment in their educational experience. Advocates of NCLB indicate that there must be basic standards of mastery, required of all students, regardless of whether they dwell in the suburbs or the inner city. Requiring testing, such as The Regents in New York, can ensure that each student has mastered the necessary skills that will prepare him to excel in higher education, should he choose to enroll.
During the early years of a child’s education, parents have the power to increase access to educational opportunities for their child. Enrolling children in programs with an educational component prior to enrolling in kindergarten and advocating that they participates in enrichment activities during the summer months can ensure that children continually engage in increasing their academic prowess.