The day was very useful and extremely well-done. No surprises there for those who know FCE!
During one of the plenary presentations, Dr. Marcus Martin, Director of Research at FCE, shared a fascinating series of comparisons.
First, he compared the pre-Katrina economic status of residents of New Orleans' 9th Ward with the general population of that city.
The indicators he chose to present to us included employment, high school graduation rates and families living in poverty. Residents of the 9th Ward were behind in every category (-11%, -15% and -9% respectively) when compared to the general population.
Those results were not so surprising. Actually, I would have thought they could have been even worse.
But then, he went on to compare one of Dallas' poorest communities, the Frazier neighborhood in South Dallas to the general population of our city in those same categories.
The gaps between residents of the Frazier area and the general population of Dallas were over twice as great as the gaps reported in New Orleans.
- 25% worse in employment
- 29% worse in high school graduation rates
- 23% worse in families living in poverty
There are startling disparities between rich and poor in Dallas, Texas--more dramatic than most people realize or are willing to face. No doubt, Dallas is wealthier than New Orleans. But the gaps appear shocking.
Our nation has a problem it wants to deny.
We persist in our denial to our own national peril.