A study of 100 American cities, facilitated by Measure of America (an initiative of the Social Science Research Council), found that segregation is still affecting Black youth in the most debilitating of ways.
In fact, CNN notes that one in four Black youths are disconnected — a term used to describe individuals who are not working or receiving an education in school — in at least nine metro areas. In 10 cities, the site writes, that number jumps to at least one in five in Latino communities.
“Disconnected youth are cut off from the people, institutions, and experiences that would help them develop the skills, credentials, and sense of purpose required to live rewarding lives as adults,” said Kristen Lewis, co-director, of Measure of America.
To prevent these youths from becoming disconnected, the researchers recommend that communities help at-risk parents prepare their children to enter school and invest in universal pre-K, high-quality K-12, and apprenticeship and mentoring programs.
The report also highlighted the importance of reconnecting these youths through second chance programs, such as job training programs, even though such initiatives can be costly. “They need a second chance — especially since so many didn’t really get a decent first chance,” the report said.
In fact the numbers, across the board for any race, are alarming. Fourteen percent of Americans between the ages of 16-24 are also disconnected. But the numbers, the report points out, are still lower than 2010’s peak of disconnected youth.
But when race is a factor, the inequalities are too large to ignore.
On a national level, 21.6% of black youths — that’s more than one in five — were considered disconnected compared with only 11.3% of whites and 7.9% of Asian Americans. Meanwhile, just over 20% of Native Americans and 16% of Latino youths were neither working or in school.
You can find more on Measure of America’s report, here.