Expert Commentary

Disparities faced by boys and men of color in California

2009 RAND Corporation study on the disparities between Latino and African-American males and their white counterparts in California.

Problems facing Latinos and African-American men continue to represent a nationwide social challenge. Sustained disparities in socioeconomic well-being across race and ethnicity imply that efforts must be undertaken to bridge the inequality.

A 2009 publication by the RAND Corporation, “Reparable Harm: Assessing and Addressing Disparities Faced by Boys and Men of Color in California,” quantifies the disparities between Latinos and African-Americans male and their white counterparts, and identifies ways to address these gaps.

The paper’s key findings include:

  • A child living in poverty is 3.4 times more likely to be either a Latino or an African-American than a white.
  • Compared to whites, Latinos and African-Americans have respectively, 3.1 times and 6.9 times higher likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS.
  • Over a lifetime, an African-American is 5.5 times more likely than a white to have ever gone to prison, while a Latino is 2.9 times more likely.
  • A Latino is 6.9 times more likely to have not completed high school compared to a white, while the odds for an African-American are 1.9 times.

The report concludes by highlighting policy interventions undertaken on the community, interpersonal and individual levels to reduce the observed disparities.  These include addressing inequities in employment, educational or service providers within the system, mentoring, and and integrating services, among other approaches.

Photo from “Reparable Harm: Assessing and Addressing Disparities Faced by Boys and Men of Color in California.” Tags: California, crime, employment, Hispanic, Latino, African-American, race, inequality, HIV/AIDS, prisons.

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