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Poverty Reduction with Race and Gender at the Center YWCA Greater Lafayette Network Luncheon February 23, 2009 The Report: “Connecting Poverty Reduction to Racial Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

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Poverty Reduction with Race and Gender at the Center

YWCA Greater Lafayette

Network Luncheon

February 23, 2009


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The Report: “Connecting Poverty Reduction to Racial Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Prepared for YWCA Great Lakes Alliance Region in August 2008 by Rebecca Gurney, GLA Advocacy Coordinator, and Abbie Obenour, a public policy intern from OSU

  • Based on research for years 2006-2008

  • Report available at: www.ywca.org/lafayette/network


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First…the facts-- Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • In 2006, almost 37 million people lived below the poverty line

  • Poverty line for family of 4 in 2006--$20,614

  • Poverty line for family of 4 in 2008--$22,200—7.2% increase


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Children’s poverty rates are highest of any age group; one in five children lives in poverty.

  • Over 9 million working people live in poverty.


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Poor people face multiple hardships—food insecurity, inadequate housing, barriers to adequate health care

  • Uninsured rate among poor people (37%) is twice the national rate (18%)


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

As the gap between poverty and opportunity widens, the line between the “haves and have-nots” continues to be drawn along race and gender lines.


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • 2006—the poverty rate for women was 14.7% compared to 11.9% for men.

  • 90% of TANF recipients were women. This proportion has remained consistent since 2000.

  • Median annual income for women was $22,097. This is $10,000 less than the median for men.

  • Women still average $.77 to the man’s dollar.

  • Unemployment rate for single mothers was 28%.


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Poverty rates for African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics were 2 ½ to 3 times the rate for whites.

    • 9.3% non-Hispanic Whites

    • 21.5% Hispanic

    • 25.8 African Americans

    • 26.6% Native Americans, Alaskan Natives


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • African Americans are more likely than whites, and –

  • Hispanic Americans are more likely than African Americans

    • To be unemployed,

    • To drop out of high school

    • To experience ill health


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • The wealth of the average white family is seven times more than that of an average black family.

  • The median net worth by race--

    • African Americans -- $5,998

    • Hispanics -- $7,932

    • Whites -- $88,651


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Facts… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Women and racial minorities are disproportionately likely to live in poverty.

  • These facts are of singular concern to the YWCA whose mission is

    Eliminating Racism ● Empowering Women


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Quick Facts about Greater Lafayette, Indiana*… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Racial Analysis 2005

    • 90% - white

    • 7.1% - Hispanic/Latino

    • 5.5% - Asian

    • 3.5% African American

      * Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce


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Greater Lafayette, Indiana… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Poverty Statistics

    • 2005 Rate – 17.9% (150% of the state rate)

    • Children living in poverty – 16.1% (97% of the state rate)

      *Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce…


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What Can We Do?... Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Become the experts

  • Advocate


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What Can I Do?… Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

Become the expert

  • Study the current status of poverty in Greater Lafayette, IN

  • Drill down to identify areas where greatest disparities exist.


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What Can We Do? Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

  • Take Leadership

    • Form Alliances - Join with others who share your views. Join the YWCA.

    • Speak out.

    • Write letters to the newspapers.

    • Start a blog.

    • Contact legislators.

    • Be at the table where decisions are made.


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What Can I Do?... Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

Advocate

  • Keep the unique needs of women and communities of color at the forefront of all conversations about poverty.

  • Engage in policy advocacy

    • Living wage

    • Paid sick days and expanded access to health care

    • Universal early childhood care and education


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What Can I Do?... Justice and Women’s Economic Empowerment”

Advocate

  • Engage in policy advocacy (continued)

    • Consumer protection from predatory lending

    • Educate the community about borrowing and financing options

    • Appeal to policy makers to establish a poverty reduction target


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