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Urban League Publishes 2007 State of Black Kansas City Report

By Sylvia Maria Gross

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-655477.mp3

Kansas City, MO – A new study by Kansas City's Urban League measures African Americans as about three-fourths of the way towards equality with whites. The 2007 State of Black Kansas City compares statistics on the two groups in Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.

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In the areas of economics and social justice, which includes incarceration rates and racial profiling, black Kansas Citians are at about 60 percent the level of whites. The gap is smaller, but significant, in the areas of health and education. Urban League President Gwen Grant says local organizations can use the data to target areas for intervention in the black community. The Urban League, for example, will focus on financial literacy.

GRANT: We believe aggressive wealth creation is the key to closing the poverty gap which will then help us to address other challenges.

The annual report of the metropolitan area is patterned after a study by the national urban league and conducted by UMKC's Department of Economics. For the first time this year, data from Johnson County was added to that of Jackson and Wyandotte Counties, Grant says that may have account for a slight overall improvement in the status of African Americans from last year.

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