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State of Black and Brown Wisconsin Address Brings Attention To Racial Disparities

At the first State of Black and Brown Wisconsin address in Madison Monday ... He said in the last decade, many of the homes that went into foreclosure were owned by African Americans or Latinos and now, many of the houses have been turned into rental ...

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Listen Listening.. / 3:27 At the first State of Black and Brown Wisconsin address in Madison Monday, members of the Black and Latino Caucus focused on the racial disparities that continue to challenge the advancement of people of color in the state The lawmakers highlighted disparities in housing, education, health and employmentOne of the participants was Milwaukee state SenLaTonya JohnsonShe shared statistics that illustrate disparities in education between black and brown children, versus white childrenJohnson said the differences are significant -- and serious Milwaukee State Senator LaTonya Johnson Credit PHOTO COURTESY OF WISCONSINEYE “According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2014 and 2015 the graduation rate in Wisconsin was 88 percent while African Americans experienced a 64 percent graduation rateThe graduation rate for white students is 93 percentThe gap is 29 percent between white and African American studentsSixty-four percent grad rate for African Americans, 93 percent for our white studentsThis is the largest gap between white and African American student graduation rates in the nation." Johnson also talked about health outcomes among children of colorShe pointed to troubling infant mortality figuresWhile African American births account for only 10 percent of the total in Wisconsin, nearly 25 percent of the babies who die are black, Johnson saidThe black unemployment rate, meanwhile, was one of the things on the mind of Milwaukee state Representative David BowenHe said 44 percent of black children live in poverty compared to 11 percent of white childrenBowen said the numbers did not improve during the first year of Donald Trump's presidency Milwaukee State RepDavid Bowen Credit PHOTO COURTESY OF WISCONSINEYE “President Trump claims to have delivered results for black Americans, but here in Wisconsin, black unemployment is still at recession type levels," he said"Above 10 percent and three times greater than white unemploymentThat’s about 1 in 8 black adults are seeking, but not finding the ability to work.” Lawmakers can do more to connect people to jobs, Bowen said“There are things that we definitely can do to make sure employment reaches all areas of this state, especially in chronic unemployed areas of this state.” For his part in the address, Milwaukee state RepLeon Young focused on the lack of decent, affordable housingHe said in the last decade, many of the homes that went into foreclosure were owned by African Americans or Latinos and now, many of the houses have been turned into rental propertiesYoung said it's been hard to get home ownership numbers back up again, among people of color“When people apply for loans, 18 percent of white Americans are being denied versus 35 percent of black Americans that’s being denied housing loansSo we have to do a better job working with the banks so that we can improve the overall rate for bank loans.” Members of the Black and Latino Caucus did not suggest immediate legislation or policies that could reduce racial disparities in WisconsinBut they said as they address the issues, they'll need all hands on deckAudio and photos courtesy of WisconsinEyeDo you have a question about race in Milwaukee? Submit it below _ Tags: WUWM NewsRaceTweetShareGoogle+Email Related Content Walker Promotes New Welfare Rules, Child Tax Credit, and Health Care Affordability in State of State By Marti Mikkelson & Ann-Elise Henzl • Jan 24, 2018 Screen capture from GovWalker's YouTube channel GovScott Walker gave his eighth State of the State Address Wednesday afternoonSpeaking to the full Legislature, the Republican governor told lawmakers that 2017 was a "historic" year for Wisconsin, and that the state is in an amazing period of prosperity and promise "And you know what? We're just getting startedFoxconn, for example, will begin construction this year on a $10 billion campus," Walker said Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science

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