PSU Study: African-Americans Remain At Disadvantage

OPB | Jan. 27, 2014 7:28 a.m. | Portland

New research out of Portland State University finds that social disparities between the African-American community in Multnomah County and the white population stem in large part from policies rooted in discrimination.

The 104-page report covers housing, education, health and everywhere, finds African-Americans at a disadvantage.

Study co-author Ann Curry-Stevens says policy makers often play down racial disparities by linking them to less incendiary forces like economics. The new study finds big differences in employment and income. But Curry-Stevens says the cause of the divide facing African-Americans is not economic.

She explained, “Issues of institutional racism, historic disadvantage, discrimination, and ongoing current unevenness in treatments, in opportunity, and outcomes, creates these grave disparities.”

The report often finds bigger racial gaps in Multnomah County than in the U.S. as a whole.

The report shows African-American students are more likely to be disciplined and less likely to be labeled “talented and gifted.”

But those who graduate high school are more likely to enroll in college.

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