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City Racial Inequality 'Pervasive, Persistent, Consequential': UIC Report

By DNAinfo Staff | May 15, 2017 3:55pm | Updated on May 16, 2017 11:40am
 Protesters gather in Rogers Park to express frustration with foreclosures and the lack of affordable housing in this file photo.
Protesters gather in Rogers Park to express frustration with foreclosures and the lack of affordable housing in this file photo.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

CHICAGO — A new report on race in Chicago concludes that while there has been some progress since the civil rights movement, in some cases, it has grown worse.

The report, "A Tale of Three Cities: The State of Racial Justice in Chicago" produced by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, examines a number of troubled areas in Chicago including:

Economics: Some 30 percent of black families and 25 percent of Latino families live below the poverty line. Some 10 percent of white families live below the poverty line.

In 1960, the typical white family earned 1.6 times more than black families. Today, it is 2.2 times. The median family income is $36,720 for African Americans, $47,308 for Latinos and $81,702 for whites.

Employment: Black unemployment is at 20 percent, four times the city's white unemployment rate. Latino unemployment is 10 percent.

Housing: Black and Latino neighborhoods are still suffering from the foreclosure crisis, with a quarter of housing in the Riverdale neighborhood and 11 percent in Englewood vacant for more than two years. Blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to have high-interest rate mortgages.

A concentration of foreclosures "has resulted in large portions of neighborhoods being left abandoned, and the longer a home remains vacant, the greater the odds of blight," the report says.

Apartment buildings in heavily black and Hispanic neighborhoods were also hit harder by foreclosure than other neighborhoods.

Education: White students represent 32 to 40 percent of the enrollment at the city top five-ranked high schools though whites are less than 10 percent of CPS' total student body. Black students are suspended at four times the rate of Latinos and 23 times the rate of whites.

The report says that in 2006-07 school year, one out of every three teachers was black; today it is one out of five, a total lof 2,865 fewer black teachers. The researchers say black educators have been particularly hard hit by layoffs.

"The central finding of this report is that racial and ethnic inequities in Chicago remain pervasive, persistent and consequential. These inequities affect the lives of Chicagoans in every neighborhood," the report authors write.

"While the data we collected will not be a surprise to many, we hope this effort to collect it all in one place will help us understand the challenges we face and how they are interconnected," Amanda Lewis, a UIC professor of African American studies and sociology and a co-author of the report said in a statement.

Read the entire report here.