‘Our goal is to narrow it’ - civil rights organization finds persistent equality gap

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 11:24 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - As the country commemorates the freeing of black enslaved Americans this Juneteenth, some organizations are looking at how far the push for equality still has to go.

The National Urban League is a civil rights organization that releases a ‘State of Black America’ report each year. The organization’s president Marc Morial says there is still work to be done in the fight for equality.

“I’m a passionate optimist. I believe in the promise of the nation,” said Morial.

The report that first began in 1976 looks at racial equality data metrics in economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice, and civic participation. This year NUL found an equality index of 73.9 percent. Meaning if white people have 100% equality, black people are lagging 26.1 percent behind. The report also compared metrics from 2005 to this year, 2022. It showed a one percent increase in the equality index

“On our watch, what we should do is say, ‘Our goal is to narrow it,’” said Morial.

Morial says he is optimistic about closing the inequality gap but believes much of that relies on policy. He believes the country will be better off if the gap is narrowed, arguing GDP will rise, crime will go down, life expectancy will go up if parity is achieved.

Voting rights are also top of mind for Morial in this midterm election year that could dramatically shift the power balance in the country. He wants barriers to voting eliminated, particularly in communities of color.

“All of us has a vested interest in high voter turnout from all communities,” said Morial.

NUL also included its first ever Pulse of Black America poll this year. The survey found that to close the equality gap a vast majority of Black Americans strongly believe in the power of voting. They also said they believe elected officials are not doing enough to protect voting rights.

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