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” • 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
First…the facts-- • 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
Facts… • 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.
Facts… • 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%)
Facts… 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.
Facts… • 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%.
Facts… • 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
Facts… • 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
Facts… • 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
Facts… • 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
Quick Facts about Greater Lafayette, Indiana*… • Racial Analysis 2005 • 90% - white • 7.1% - Hispanic/Latino • 5.5% - Asian • 3.5% African American * Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
Greater Lafayette, Indiana… • 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…
What Can We Do?... • Become the experts • Advocate
What Can I Do?… Become the expert • Study the current status of poverty in Greater Lafayette, IN • Drill down to identify areas where greatest disparities exist.
What Can We Do? • 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.
What Can I Do?... 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
What Can I Do?... 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