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11 Race Relations Progress Report

11 Race Relations Progress Report

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Published by Ben Warner

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Published by: Ben Warner on Mar 30, 2012
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Race Relations Progress Report
for Jacksonville, FloridaSeventh Annual Edition, 2011
 Celebrating 10 years since 
Beyond the Talk: Improving Race Relations
2 JCCI 2011 Race Relations Progress Report
Executive SummaryIntroductionPerceptions of Race RelationsSection
EducationEmployment and IncomeHousing and NeighborhoodsHealthJustice and Legal SystemCivic Engagement and the Political System
About JCCIJCCI Model for Community Change
W.C. and Susan Gentry
BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida
Harris Guidi Rosner Dunlap Rudolph, PA
Ten Years Later...
Ten years ago, a group of Jacksonville residents came together to look at race relations differently. They met
weekly for nine months to wrestle with Jacksonville’s history with race, share stories, examine data, and nd a
shared consensus around where the community should be - and could become. Nearly 300 people participated in these meetings, hearing from 51 resource speakers representing a much wider range of viewpoints than anysingle participant anticipated. At the end, the study committee found that Jacksonville residents, dependingon their race, perceived race relations differently. Beyond those perceptions, the study committee discovered and documented race-based disparities in education,employment and income, neighborhoods and housing,criminal justice, health, and in the political process. Theystated, “the persistence of these disparities in Jacksonvillehas inhibited efforts to improve race relations.”They concluded:“To move beyond the talk and improve race relations for all its citizens, Jacksonville needs: 
leadership, including leaders from government, business, education, and the faith community, to worktogether to make Jacksonville a place in which all residents, regardless of race, participate fully in publiclife; 
a vision, shared by the community, of a Jacksonville without race-based disparities or discrimination; 
action by community institutions, by government, and by individual citizens, to realize that vision; and  
accountability, through independent monitoring, community celebrations, and annual report cards, to ensure results.”This is the tenth year since that study. This report serves as an accountability measurefor the whole community to answer the question: What progress have we made in thelast decade?
Gratefully dedicated to the original study committee and implementation task force members,and to the study chairs, Brian Davis and Bruce Barcelo.
 a  b l    e  of   
 C  on t  en t  s 
“In any nonviolent campaign there are fourbasic steps: 1) collection of the facts to determinewhether injustices exist; 2) negotiation; 3) self-
purifcation; and 4) direct action.”
~ April 16, 1963: Letter from a Birmingham JailRev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 JCCI 2011 Race Relations Progress Report 3
The 2011
Race Relations Progress Report
Review Committee waschaired by
Nathaniel Herring
Committee members included:
    E   x   e   c   u   t    i   v   e
   S  u  m  m  a  r  y
Welcome to a dening document. This year’s
Race Relations Progress Report
provides readers with specics about
racial and ethnic disparities, and perhaps more importantly, whether disparities change or not over the years. Anexample of a racial disparity is the gap between white ninth graders graduating from high school on time morefrequently than black ninth-graders. In 2011, 82 percent of white students graduated on time while 66 percent of 
black students did the same. Education is not the only area where disparities dene our community. The following
pages measure racial and ethnic disparities across six elements of community life: education, employment and income,neighborhoods and housing, health outcomes, justice and the legal system, and political and civic engagement.If you’ve ever wondered if life is different for whites and blacks, then this document is for you. Similarly, if you’ve
ever thought about how Hispanic residents fare in Jacksonville, then this document is for you. And nally, if you havewondered whether the nancial collapse of 2008 and the slow recovery from the Great Recession affect residents
differently, then read on. Data reported for every racial and ethnic group are not always available, although this reportprovides numbers for as many groups as possible.
Some disturbing specics about the lives of Jacksonville’s residents are emerging in these pages. First, the
percentage of children living in low-income households increased for all races. The unemployment rate for whitesincreased at a higher rate than for blacks (p. 8); however, the black rate remains the highest of racial groups. Hispanicunemployment increased at a much higher rate than for blacks and whites. A higher percentage of black and white
families are nding the cost of housing is no longer affordable given their income. Similarly, the median household 
income for both blacks and whites decreased. This meant that the gap in median household income between white and black actually narrowed in 2010. A decrease in disparity might appear healthy, and yet in this case the gap narrowed because both whites and blacks saw less income than the previous year.The trend lines in the
 2011 Race Relations Progress Report
tell stories about Jacksonville. You’ll see the large increases in
black voters turning out for the 2011 mayoral election, on page 16, one factor in the election of Jacksonville’s rst black
mayor. The exciting election energized voters, suggesting that when Jacksonville residents are moved to act, they do.There is evidence of action and positive results throughout this report. The fact that a black baby is twice as likelyto die compared to a white baby is clear, on page 12; and yet, the disparity is narrowing. The Hispanic-white gap ininfant mortality rates increased, however. The same page details that HIV transmission rates decreased for all races.
Positive trends demonstrate an important truth about Jacksonville: when residents decide to solve aproblem together, conditions improve for everyone.
The positive trend lines in the Health section are due, in part,to grassroots activism. Several faith communities, for example, started health ministries dedicated to continuing theconversation about HIV/AIDS and educating our community about infant mortality.Another set of positive trend lines are graduation rates. In 2007, 53 percent of black students were graduating
“on time”. Four years later, 66 percent are graduating “on time”. This indicator suggests another important truth:
investments create improvements. Philanthropists, parents, students, artists, human service agencies, and mostimportantly, educators, have focused on the graduation rate in recent years. Now the rates for all students areimproving and the gaps between the races are closing, if slowly. Another positive? A 14 percent drop in the number of blacks who feel racism is a problem in Jacksonville.
Finally, all your questions about how Hispanics, whites, blacks, Asians and others live and experience Jacksonvilledifferently will not be answered here. This document is meant to be the rst step in a journey, offering a birds-eye view
of how racial disparities shape schools, people’s health, the courts, their neighborhoods, and families. It is only through
recognition and awareness of these specics that you and other readers can work to narrow these gaps and differences.
Disparities do disappear, as evidenced in these pages, when you and other concerned citizens get involved.
Michael Aubin James BoyleRod BrownTina Comstock
 Jackie Green
Coretta HillTru LeverettePaul MartinezDan MerkanKen MiddletonDoug PickettMarcelle PolednikTom SerwatkaMichael WacholzCherrise WilksDottie Wilson

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